Students at the Project Nepal school.

Above: Students at the Project Nepal school, Nabha Deepti School.

Photos
Ed Kellerman surrounded by some of the primary school children Project Nepal supports Leo Kellerman MD, Ed Kellerman's father, treating a Kikuyu tribeswoman in 1970.
Dillon Kellerman delivers 40 pounds of children's books to Principal Poonam Lama. Ed Kellerman, UF Alum Paula Guerrrin, UF students Jeremy Kim and Natalie Yin in Nepali dress - a gift from the Project Nepal school.
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Shoring the Foundations of the Roof of the World

Professor Brings UF Outreach to Nepal

Ed Kellerman’s commitment to public service is infectious. How else can you explain his ability to bring a punk band and a retired U.S. Senator together for a common cause?

Now students have a chance to catch that same fever. Starting in 2009, Kellerman, a Senior Lecturer in the Dial Center for Written and Oral Communication, will teach a new Nonprofit Leadership course offered through the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida.

In the Leadership course, students will work with the Harvest of Hope Foundation for migrant farmworkers and Project Nepal that runs the Nabha Deepti School for orphaned schoolchildren In Kathmandu ; Kellerman serves on the board of both projects. The Harvest of Hope Foundation has gained the support of many local music groups, most notably Against Me!, named the best punk band in 2008 by Rolling Stone magazine. They have raised nearly $20,000 through 5 benefit concerts and are looking for student volunteers for next March's weekend benefit at the St. John's County Fairgrounds.

In addition, students will complete service projects with local non-profits. These experiences will help prepare for work in the public sector or in setting up their own non profit organization.

"The Graham Center's mission is to encourage everyone to engage in the process, to continually attempt to solve problems and seek solutions,” said Graham, a former Florida Governor and retired U.S. Senator. “Nonprofits stand as an excellent choice for those individuals who take up that challenge and work to make a positive difference within their communities, state, nation and world."

Between 2002 and 2005, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that college student volunteering has increased approximately 20 percent. Kellerman explains college students desire to make a difference in the world today and that has led to an ever increasing number of students looking to volunteer.

Take Tim Tebow, for example.

“Here is this student who has just won the Heisman.” Kellerman said. “What does he do? He goes to the Philippines,Croatia, and Thailand to work with his parent’s charities.”

Kellerman acknowledges that powerful leadership in nonprofits is needed now more than ever. “Government support is shrinking and more hands are out,” Kellerman explains. “The need for trained leaders in addition to volunteers is critical.”

“Nonprofit leadership can also benefit students in the corporate world as well,” Kellerman said. “Most private companies work with nonprofits and this enforces social responsibility in corporate decision making.”

Kellerman credits Bob Graham’s career as a factor in the increased interest in public service.

“There was a point of time where people saw no point in working in the public sector. Bob Graham has proved them wrong.”

Kellerman’s life has revolved around the importance of public service. The need to help others was demonstrated to him at an early age by his parents, who volunteered their services to help provide eye care to rural tribesmen in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Since 1997, he has worked with his brother Phil at the Harvest of Hope Foundation (www.harvestofhope.net) and has helped raise over $650,000.

Kellerman used the course grant to travel to Nepal to the Nabha Deepti school to evaluate it for a UF Study Abroad program and to distribute $625 raised by UF students Jeremy Kim, Natalie Yin, and alum Paula Guerrin. University Scholars Program student Anna Belen Peterson traveled with him to conduct research on the changing political situation in Nepal.

Kellerman recently gave up his position as an award winning boys tennis coach to devote his attention full-time to nonprofit needs. “I’d like to become an on-campus resource for faculty and students building nonprofits.”

For more information on Harvest of Hope and Project Nepal, visit www.harvestofhope.net and www.supportprojectnepal.com. To learn of other community outreach projects from the University of Florida College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, visit www.clas.ufl.edu/outreach.html.

Contact

Source

Ed Kellerman, ekeller@cwoc.ufl.edu

Writer

Jeff Stevens, 846-2032, jstevens@clas.ufl.edu

Photos

Courtesy Ed Kellerman

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