With the exciting new addition of Hardesty Hall, the renovation of the old Center for Global Education (CGE) house on sorority row and its transformation into the new home of True Blue Neighbors has gone mostly unnoticed.
True Blue Neighbors connects TU students and staff with volunteer opportunities in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood, including at nearby schools such as Kendall Whittier Elementary and Will Rogers High School. The organization now has a brand new facility and big aspirations.
“Having this house gives us a real identity on campus,” said Mike Mills, Associate Dean for Community Relations and Director of the True Blue Neighbors Program.
“This is the first time in our history that our staff has all been under one roof. Since TU rebranded all community outreach as ‘True Blue Neighbors’ in 2008, our staff has been spread out amongst Collins Hall and Sharp Chapel. Now, this house showcases the mission of service in a central and clear place on campus.”
“Having a more visible location on campus will encourage more students to engage in service,” said Rapha Ngassa, Vice President of Service for TU’s APO chapter. “It will be much easier to stop by the house on the way to the Union or between classes.”
Along with providing TU students with service opportunities, True Blue Neighbors has played a crucial role in connecting grants and donors to classrooms and children in need. True Blue recently obtained a five-year 1.2 million dollar grant from the Oklahoma State Department of Education to provide enhanced after-school enrichment opportunities in its True Blue Neighbor Youth Mentoring Program at Kendall-Whittier school. True Blue also connected the Kaiser Foundation with Kendall Whittier’s emergency food pantry to provide for hungry kids.
The True Blue House will be having an open house in the afternoon of Friday, December 4.