Chartwells Higher Education Partners with The Jed Foundation to Foster a Sense of Community and Belonging in the 2023-2024 School Year

“Joy-Ful” campaign returns for a third year to help students feel supported as they navigate through a new school year

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug 1, 2023 — Whether returning to campus or stepping foot on it for the first time, the beginning of a new school year is a big transition for students. That’s why Chartwells Higher Education, a recognized leader in contract food service management, today announced the return of Joy-Ful, a national campaign aimed at fostering a sense of belonging among the campus community. For its first signature event, Chartwells is partnering with The Jed Foundation (JED), a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. The partnership between Chartwells and JED is focused on helping students build social connections and encouraging help-seeking and help-giving during the academic year.

“The back-to-school season makes many students feel uneasy, homesick, or anxious about the year ahead. When we first started Joy-Ful, it was mostly about easing students’ concerns around physical safety and welcoming them back to campus post-COVID. This year, we want to help equip students with what they need to tackle the mental challenges that come with a new school year and ultimately set them up for success,” said Lisa McEuen, CEO of Chartwells Higher Education. “That’s why we’re working with The Jed Foundation to bring the incredible resources and experience they have to our students and help students find a sense of belonging as they navigate the inevitable challenges of life away from home.”

In partnership with JED, Chartwells campuses will sponsor a “Wall of Welcome” where students can share and find ideas for creating connection and making themselves at home on campus. Students will also receive resources on managing homesickness, taking care of themselves, and how and where to get support when they need it. 

To rekindle the comforts of home, Chartwells will also invite students to share their favorite meals, encouraging them to connect over some home-cooked memories. In addition, campuses can host a variety of other activities at their events to make students feel like they belong and are engaged on campus, such as Care Cards with words of encouragement and tips on managing homesickness or taking care of mental health; therapy dogs; “Eat and Greets” and teaching kitchens with campus chefs and dietitians; and more.

“The back-to-school season is the perfect time to give students access to the support and information they need to have a comfortable and connected year,” said Rebecca Benghiat, President and Chief Operating Officer of JED. “More than 400 colleges and universities nationwide partner with JED to protect student mental health, lower suicide risk, and create safety nets for their students. We are thrilled to work with Chartwells to support students as they return to campus, and assure students that they aren’t alone.” 

Throughout the school year, students will be invited to other signature Joy-Ful events taking place across school campuses nationwide. This first signature event focuses on creating a sense of belonging for students on campus and introducing JED and its mission to provide young adults with the skills and support they need to thrive. Joy-Ful is just one way Chartwells Higher Education is bringing students together in special, memorable, and impactful ways. 

For more information on Chartwells and the Joy-Ful campaign, please visit www.ChartwellsHigherEd.com.

About Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services

Chartwells is the recognized leader in contract food service management, hospitality, and guest service in over 300 campuses in the United States. Chartwells is re-inventing the on-campus dining experience by investing in high-tech, food-infused social spaces that bring students and people together to promote meaningful relationships and interactions. The company’s excellence in culinary, nutrition, technology, and sustainability brings truly unique dining experiences to every campus Chartwells partners with. Learn more about how Chartwells is creating joy in campus dining and preparing students for success at www.ChartwellsHigherEd.com, www.ChartwellsMonthly.com, www.DineonCampus.com.

Meredith Rosenberg

About The Jed Foundation 

JED is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for our nation’s teens and young adults. We’re partnering with high schools and colleges to strengthen their mental health, substance misuse, and suicide prevention programs and systems. We’re equipping teens and young adults with the skills and knowledge to help themselves and each other. We’re encouraging community awareness, understanding, and action for young adult mental health.

Connect with JED: Email | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | LinkedIn | Snapchat | Pinterest 

Media Contact
Justin Barbo
Director, Public Relations
The Jed Foundation
(914) 844-4611

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