Center for Leadership and Service

The David & Wanda Brown Center for Leadership & Service


About the Center

The David and Wanda Brown Center for Leadership and Service (BCLS) provides the structure and resources to prepare students to become productive citizens and assume roles of leadership and service in a culturally diverse and increasingly complex society. 

For detailed information about The David and Wanda Brown Center for Leadership and Service and its programs, please click here to visit their website.


The center offers a variety of programs and events to enhance student development and community outreach. Programs can range from one-time events to week-long service trips.

  • BCLS Ambassadors: A select group of students who are highly committed to the mission of the Center, partner with student organizations, and educate students about leadership and service on campus. 
  • Days of Service: A bi-annual large service event where students serve with community partners in the Gainesville area.
  • Florida Alternative Breaks (FAB): A service immersion experience that occurs over university breaks.
  • LeadUF: A semester-long, foundational leadership experience designed for first and second year students, where participants learn about, reflect on and develop their personal leadership framework.
  • Post Graduate Service Panel: Learn from a panel of experts about service related opportunities after graduation and how service can be a critical part of your career path.
  • Presidential Service Awards: A university honor that recognizes graduating UF students for their career of service.
  • Projects for Peace: Create a grassroots project to be implemented anywhere in the world that promotes peace and addresses the root causes of conflict among parties. Winning proposals will be awarded $10,000 to implement the project.
  • Volunteer Organization Fair: A networking event between students and community partners who want to serve together.


UF students land two Projects for Peace awards equaling $20K

In conjunction with The David and Wanda Brown Center for Leadership and Service, part of the University of Florida Department of Student Activities and Involvement, two groups of UF students were recently awarded $10,000 each by the philanthropy Projects for Peace to help bring their local and global humanitarian projects to life.

“It’s easy to celebrate good works after they’ve happened, but it takes a great deal more strength to invest in a dream before it’s realized,” said Assistant Alex Tepperman, a graduate assistant at the center tasked with assisting the students in formalizing their projects for submission. “The Davis Foundation is unique in its active empowerment of our remarkable undergraduates’ dreams.”

In economically depressed Pinellas County, Florida, chances to learn and achieve are few and far between, but TEAMS – aka Tarpon Excelling Above Modern Society – aims to change that. Created by UF students and Pinellas County natives Jeanette Misuraca and Djoni Austin in cooperation with Tarpon Springs Citizens Alliance for Progress (CAP), the Boys and Girls Club, Cops and Kids and the Tarpon Spring Recreation Department, the TEAMS program will provide 100 children ages 7 to 13 the opportunity to “discover their life’s passions” during a free, four-week summer art, music and athletics camp. Misuraca and Austin plan to engage students with music and sports, as well as helping them develop understandings of teamwork and leadership.

“There is fulfillment in life when our opportunity and privilege can actively benefit the lives of others,” said Misuraca.

On the other side of the globe, UF students Sulav Shrestha, Mackenzie Shepard and Harsh Patel – under the umbrella of Engineers Without Borders – will be in Khanalthok, Nepal, to help ensure clean, potable water for children, as well as improving hygiene overall. On a spring 2014 trip to the area, the group discovered harmful levels of bacteria in the water, a problem badly exacerbated by earthquakes. To counteract this, Shrestha, Shepard and Patel will set up wash stations and water fountains, as well as male and female latrines, at Shree Janahit Secondary School in cooperation with local craftsmen and contractors. The centerpiece of the Water for Khanalthok project will be a rainwater catchment system at the school, allowing community members to capture thousands of gallons of water to save during times of drought.

 “Everyone on the Engineers Without Borders UF Nepal team has worked very hard to make our project, Water for Khanalthok, possible,” said Shrestha. “Now that we have the support of the Davis Foundation we are ecstatic to see our project come to life and be able to make a difference in the lives of the villagers.” 

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