Thursday, August 17th was Honors College Service-Learning day for new Honors freshmores. Sixty-six students participated in Service-Learning day. They each selected and worked at one of six Boone community organizations. The options included: F.A.R.M. Café, Habitat for Humanity, Helping Hands Woodlot Ministry, Hospitality House, Hunger and Health Coalition, and University Landscaping Services. In each, students combined community service with hands-on academic learning, and purposeful engagement with their new community and home.
Photos below by Alia Dahlan (Honors Junior and AHA! President) show students working at Helping Hands Woodlot Ministry during Honors Service-Learning day.
Below are the goals driving Service-Learning Day with student reflections underneath each.
Goal 1: For students to work collaboratively within a community context to achieve a civic aim, thereby establishing a foundation and commitment to engage with and lead our Honors College community.
"Having a common task to complete with other honors students allowed for easy camaraderie. The united front we held aided common discussion that flowed naturally rather than awkward icebreaker conversations. Knowing what a student is like in the middle of a challenge is much more telling than the first impression persona they may attempt," Lindsey Wise, Honors freshmore.
"Working with other Honors students for the Landscaping project was actually really fun. It gave us a good opportunity to talk with each other and get to know one another better, which was really cool. I hope to continue building these relationships in my [Honors] seminar this semester, and in other honors classes that I end up taking," Zoe Upchurch, Honors freshmore.
Goal 2: For students to learn about and demonstrate openness to serve the diverse people and perspectives found in their new home, the community of Boone.
"I...learned that the community of Boone has many service organizations to help people in need (the Woodlot, the Hospitality House, the Health and Hunger Coalition, etc.). It was interesting because I had never thought about it before. The experience did help motivate me to engage in future community service...Working at the Woodlot helped me realize how privileged I am to have always lived in a situation where heat is guaranteed. The experience broadened my perspective on Boone and my new community," Hayden Slentz-Kesler, Honors freshmore.
Goal 3: For students to develop a stronger self-concept rooted in the values of service, community, and embracing of diversity.
"I am definitely interested in getting involved in more community service projects so as to help as many people as possible—I love knowing that what I'm doing can make a difference for someone else in this community," Zoe Upchurch, Honors freshmore.
"Coming from a warmer climate where heat was always guaranteed, the idea that a household may not be able to survive the winter due to lack of firewood is utterly foreign. I'm so glad to be part of a ministry that provides such a necessity that I would never have considered," Lindsey Wise, Honors freshmore.
Photos below by Dr. Heather Waldroup show students at Habitat for Humanity during Honors Service-Learning day.
In addition to Service-Learning work with local community organization, students enjoyed collaborative painting in the Honors College courtyard. In this endeavor, students (and staff alike) created (and re-created out of obsolete artwork) Honors Community. Come by the Honors College to check out the new artwork that emerged out of Service-Learning day. Thanks to workstudy student, Shauna Caldwell for organizing and facilitating this event!
Photo below by Dr. Heather Waldrop shows Dr. Garrett McDowell (left) and Shauna Caldwell (right) painting on Service-Learning day in the Honors College courtyard.
We thank all new Honors freshmores who participated in Service-Learning Day and especially to those who shared photos and their reflections.
Story by Garrett Alexandrea McDowell, Ph.D.