Where We Serve
Austin Scholars serve at several local organizations surrounding Merrimack College.
Austin Scholars Service Sites
As a scholar, you will have the opportunity to choose your service site from an approved list. The service is varied so our participating students can have a broad range of experiences. Please note that service site locations and details are subject to change.
Hands to Help
Merrimack College’s Hands to Help, in collaboration with St. Mary’s Parish in Lawrence, includes a drop-in center that provides after-school tutoring, tax assistance, general form assistance and more. Each weekday Hands to Help has approximately 25 children visit for homework help and after-school activities. Hands to Help provides one-on-one or small group tutoring for children in 1st through 8th grade in all subjects. Additionally, Hands to Help acts as an information referral site to other local non-profits and offers resources, such as computers, for public use.
Bellesini Academy is an independent, tuition-free Catholic middle school providing quality scholarship education to deserving boys and girls in grades five through eight in Lawrence. Bellesini Academy is dedicated to providing a quality scholarship education to students with limited financial means living in Lawrence. The mission of the school is to provide an academically challenging and highly structured environment that develops the potential for each student to succeed in competitive secondary schools and colleges. The Academy is named in honor of Stephan Bellesini, a 19th-century Augustine friar who dedicated many years to the education of young boys from disadvantaged families in Italy. His school was known as la scola por gnet, or “The School for Nothing” because it was tuition free.
Bread & Roses
The mission of Bread & Roses is to address the core necessities of the Merrimack Valley’s community members with a holistic and welcoming approach focusing on food insecurity and promoting self-empowerment. It strives to remove barriers to the health and wellness of the most vulnerable and underserved members of our community, including seniors, veterans, immigrants, low-income families, and individuals struggling with unemployment, homelessness, addiction and mental illness. 70% of those Bread and Roses serves are Latinx. Many are recent immigrants ineligible for SNAP or CARE Act benefits.
Catholic Charities helps nearly 30,000 people in need from Lowell, Lawrence, Haverhill and surrounding communities annually through a wide range of services. The programs at Merrimack Valley Catholic Charities strive to prevent hunger and homelessness for local families in a financial emergency; engage young parents through skill building and education; provide elders support as they raise their grandchildren; and support families in their effort to build safe, nurturing environments as they follow their own path back to self-sufficiency.
D’Youville Life & Wellness Community
Since 1960, the D’Youville Life & Wellness Community has been an integral part of the physical and cultural landscape of Greater Lowell. Founded in 1960 by the Sisters of Charity of Ottawa, D’Youville has provided area seniors with a continuum of care to meet the changing needs of seniors:
- Short-stay rehabilitation and transitional care
- Specialized Alzheimers and other dementia-related care
- Long-term nursing care
- Hospice care
- Assisted Living and Memory Care Assisted Living at the Saab Residence
- Independent living at Bruyere Gardens, an affordable housing community
Immaculate Conception School
The Immaculate Conception School fosters students pre-K through 8th grade in a Catholic community with a highly dedicated staff, centered on outstanding academic excellence, ongoing commitment to service and a love for learning. It strives to create a Christian environment for the growth of all members, students and staff in a supportive community of friends in Christ. The school’s vision is to develop the whole person through growth in faith, knowledge, virtue and service.
Lawrence Catholic Academy
Lawrence Catholic Academy in Lawrence, MA, is an elementary school from nursery age to eighth grade. It offers a motivating and full-bodied curriculum, enlightened by Catholic teaching, and offers all students an excellent education in a faith-filled and supportive environment. Students pursue a challenging academic program with a spiritual-human foundation that enables them to realize their God-given potential.
Notre Dame Cristo Rey High School
Notre Dame Cristo Rey (NDCR) High School in Methuen, MA, provides a Catholic, affordable, culturally sensitive, college preparatory education enhanced by professional work experience for young men and women from families with limited income. NDCR is a member of the Cristo Rey Network which bills itself as “schools that work.” The school offers a corporate work study program which places students into entry-level clerical positions and generates revenue for the school. At full enrollment, Cristo Rey Network high schools are able to cover nearly 80% of their operating expenses through a work program and modest tuition.
Notre Dame Education Center
Notre Dame Education Center educates low-income adults and empowers them to improve their lives and those of their families. The mission is to:
- Promote quality of life through education
- Collaborate with people in the community to facilitate improved services to immigrants in the area
- Generate a spirit of welcome and respect for the dignity of each person
- Provide for the development of self-esteem and literacy that will support employment opportunities, better family life and participation within a community
- Develop diverse and integrated educational programs including English for speakers of other languages, computer literacy, distance learning in English, Certified Nursing Assistant and Home Health Aid occupational training and preparation for the citizenship test and interview