2016 National Service-Learning Awards: Dickson Award Honors Servant-Leader

The National Service-Learning Awards are an annual celebration of trailblazers in the fields of service-learning, education, community service, and youth leadership. They honor impactful leaders generating young leaders of conscience and character. Over the following weeks leading up to Educate. Ignite. Transform., the 27th Annual National Service-Learning Conference®, stay tuned to nylc.org for profiles of the honorees.

The recipient of the 2016 Alec Dickson Servant Leader Award is Paula J. Beugen. She has more than four decades of experience and expertise in the fields of volunteerism and community-change. In 2008, prior to passage of the 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Beugen founded the Minnesota Serve America Committee — an independent public policy committee comprised of individuals and organization representatives seeking to maximize the impact of the Serve America Act in Minnesota. Current Committee priorities are advancing a service-learning bill in the Minnesota Legislature, furthering volunteerism and other community engagement public policy and advocating for greater balance in federal appropriations across Serve America Act programs, including restoration of Learn and Serve America.

NYLC’s Alec Dickson Servant Leader Award honors exemplary leaders who, by example, have inspired the service-learning field, have had a positive impact on the lives of young people, and have motivated others to take up the banner of service.

Earlier in her career, Beugen served as director of Avodah B’Yachad – Service Together at the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas where 3,000 volunteers were mobilized and supported for the Jewish community’s part of an interfaith action initiative to strengthen families and neighborhoods. Her public service has included three terms on the Robbinsdale Area Schools Board of Education and 11 years on the staff of the Minnesota Office on Volunteer Services.

“I am deeply touched to have been selected for the Alec Dickson Servant Leader Award. It represents and is a reflection of the efforts of the many dedicated and passionate leaders with whom I have been honored to share in this work. When you serve in the volunteerism and service-learning communities you cannot help but be inspired to do more by the ideals, energy, and accomplishments of those who surround you,” said Beugen. “This is an honor that I hope in some way will advance our collective field and especially the difference it makes in the lives of children, youth, and all people and communities.”

Register for #SLC16 at servicelearningconference.org.