University delivers shuttle to Better Family Life

Community Engagement; Faculty; Social Work

Washington University and its shuttle provider, Huntleigh Transportation Services, donated a shuttle to longtime community partner Better Family Life. The organization will use the shuttle to create and expand services for residents and young people attending Better Family Life after-school programs and summer camps. 

Dean Mary McKay and Dedric Carter, vice chancellor for operations and technology transfer, delivered the van to Better Family Life on October 30. They were joined by Cynthia Williams, assistant dean for community partnerships at the Brown School, and Sean Joe, professor of social development, as well as representatives from Parking & Transportation Services and Huntleigh.

Williams said the organization’s comprehensive and responsive approach serves as a model to Brown School students.

“It’s a benefit for our students to take classes in the community, specifically at a successful,  black-led community organization,” Williams said. “Students get context and are exposed to programming that works and an organization that works in true partnership with the people it serves. That’s why Better Family Life talks about its ‘handprint’ as opposed to a ‘footprint.’ Providing a hand is what Better Family Life is all about.”

Founded by Malik Ahmed in 1983, Better Family Life is strengthening St. Louis through programs in community development, employment, education, housing and culture. The Brown School has long served as a partner, providing practicum students and data-driven evaluation of Better Family Life programs. Brown School students also have the option of taking some courses at Better Family Life. 

“Our lives and the region are enriched by the collaborative work of our partnerships,” Carter said. “The operations team at Washington University in St. Louis is pleased to join with Huntleigh to make this shuttle available to Better Family Life to extend their handprint across the region. Together, we are advancing mobility in every sense of the word.”