International Samaritan, a local non-profit organization with a mission of alleviating severe poverty in garbage dump communities in developing countries, has awarded its Magis Award to Kenneth Coleman for his generous pro bono research work. Coleman, who was recently recognized for his major donation to the University of Michigan and is also a donor to International Samaritan, has volunteered with the organization for over seven years.
Coleman’s quantitative and qualitative research on student volunteers’ service immersion trip experiences has not only been useful in the organization’s continued development of its program, but has been a critical piece in receiving grant funding. When told that his research was key in receiving a mid-six figure award, which will build a school for over 350 children in Central America, Coleman humbly commented, “That makes the research about the most important research I have ever done.” Coleman found out at the award presentation that the enrollment number is expected to double in the near future.
“We are blessed to be able to work with someone like Ken,” said Father Don Vettese, S.J., Founder of International Samaritan. “He is generous and kind in every facet of his life; truly a man for others. Our program would not be the same without his contribution of time and expertise.”
The Magis Award was created to recognize persons who serve Jesuits missions in a spirit that is distinctly generous. “Magis” is a Latin word rooted in the Latin term majorem – an ideal based in the deep desire to seek the greater good, and it is a foundation of the Jesuit philosophy to be “men and women for others.” Furthermore, Jesuit philosophy invites the world to have what is called a preferential option for service to the poor. Kenneth Coleman was selected for the award for having all of these qualities and more.