Leadership Fellows in a Group Dynamics and Leadership course taught by Suzan Zuljani Wasik, an assistant professor in the Department Human Services, just concluded several successful service learning projects that made a difference in the community-both locally and globally.
The class was divided into seven smaller teams at the beginning of the semester. Teams were asked to identify a community based organization that they would like to support through a team based service learning project. The teams had the opportunity to analyze their small group dynamics in the process of the semester long project. Some of the highlights of their service learning projects include:
- Alex’s Lemonade Stand and SuperSibs! Smile Card Station: A holistic approach to fighting pediatric cancer. Students set up stands to sell cookies and lemonade for donations, and also created a Smile Card station for SuperSibs! The team raised $1,386.84 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand and 99 artfully done smile cards for SuperSibs!. The money donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand will be sent to research hospitals across the country in efforts to find a cure for pediatric cancer. The Smile Cards given to SuperSibs! will be sent to children across the country whose siblings are fighting pediatric cancer in an effort to honor and support them. Alex’s Lemonade Stand (www.alexslemonade.org) and SuperSibs! (www.supersibs.org)
- JOSHUA Foundation: Students held a very successful “Do you have sole?” shoe drive to help needy children in Africa. As a result of their efforts, these students raised over $1,000.00 and collected over 150 pairs of shoes that will be donated to the JOSHUA Foundation. http://www.thejoshuafoundation.org
- Family Abuse Services of Alamance County: Students are coordinating a winter clothing drive to benefit the Family Abuse Services of Alamance County. Drive is still in progress. If you would like to donate some gently used coats and/or winter clothing, please drop them off at a bin located in Mosley, Harden, McEwen, Daniley Commons, and Campus Rec.
- Boys & Girls Club of America: Students created a 5-month scholarship award for the children and families of Burlington’s Boy’s and Girl’s Club. Scholarships will be awarded to the student with the most improved behavior and grades. To raise scholarship funds, the team collected donations and ran a week-long successful Krispy Kreme Doughnut Fundraiser.
- Students created a new program, “Kulture for Kids,” which incorporates an international/cultural curriculum in the after school program at the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington. Fellows presented on countries such as Mexico, France, and China and involved the children in learning by providing fun and developmentally appropriate activities related to that culture. Based on its current success, this program has now been expanded and will continue beyond the scope of the course and on into the spring semester.
- Little Things Mean A Lot: Little Things Mean a Lot is an official, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that Leadership Fellow Samantha Tremblay began in 2000 as a high school freshman in Western Massachusetts. Its mission is to help local agencies with the idea to collect trial-size health and beauty aid items (such as toiletry samples and hotel and makeup giveaways) and give them to people in need through local shelters and community service agencies. (To date her organization has collected and donated over 7,000 pounds of these items and have affected people on four different continents!) The team of students adopted this project to contribute to Alamance County area agencies. They have contacted over 100 schools, businesses, and churches in the area and have made a connection with Leadership Alamance and the NCCAP Leadership Conference (at Elon), both who will also be adopting Little Things Mean a Lot for their service projects and running community wide drives.
- Positive Attitude Youth Center: A team of Leadership Fellows designed an education/work-related series of workshops to address practical career and educational issues for the students being served by the Positive Attitudes Youth Center. The first workshop discussed the application process (for getting a job or getting into college). The second workshop focused on the interview process. Team members conducted mock-interviews to help the attendees be better prepared for real life experiences in the world of work.
Thank you to everyone who supported these students in their efforts to make a difference for the common good.