At the end of last week, students of Jacobs University were awarded the Bürgerpreis (citizens’ prize) for their commitment to Bremen’s community. At a festive ceremony in the city hall, jury member André-Michael Schultz, honorary guest Philipp Maumann and Jörg Kastendiek presented student body representatives Aaron Ames and Christopher Casebeer with the award, which is sponsored by the Verein zur Förderung von bürgerschaftlichen Engagement e.V. (association for the promotion of civic involvement) in Bremen and Bremerhaven.
Many students at the international university in northern Bremen use their spare time to work on a variety of voluntary initiatives such as tutoring, coaching children’s sports, supporting environmental awareness, and setting up gardens in refugee camps. “Students enhance the district of Schönebeck through these numerous cultural activities and do much to raise the quality of life for many of the people of the city of Bremen,” said jury member André-Michael Schultz in the Weser-Kurier. “We wish to give a face to civil involvement. Our local community would not function at all without this kind of voluntary work,” explains Jörg Kastendiek quoted in the article.
Twelve individuals and initiatives were nominated this year, and the award, which is endowed by the CDU (Christlich Demokratischen Union), came as a complete surprise to the Jacobs University students. The Jacobs University choir, J-Cappella, had been booked far in advance by the organizers, and the choir members were able to celebrate the win together with their fellow students and an equally euphoric audience who provided the festive mood. The students aim to use the prize money for a joint celebration to give them energy for continuing their work; their motivation is as high as ever and is only helped by awards of this kind.
The students want to continue their voluntary work in their immediate neighborhood and in Bremen’s civil society. “We are very proud of our students. Their commitment and this award underline once again the enormous importance our university – and everything that goes with it – has for the development of the region. Long may the outstanding collaboration between everyone involved continue,” says Professor Katja Windt, president of Jacobs University.
Image: Philipp Murmann (from left), Jury member Andre-Michael Schultz, Jacobs students Aaron Ames and Christopher Casebeer and CDU-Chef Jörg Kastendiek. (image copyright frank thomas koch weser-kurier)