Each semester, Missouri State University’s service-learning students contribute hundreds of hours of service to a host of local non-profit organizations, schools and government agencies as part of their academic coursework while also addressing various social issues like poverty, homelessness, healthcare and education. Here’s what several of the students shared about their experiences:
I did service-learning because I wanted to get a better feel of what it was like to do actual scientific research. It was of great benefit to me for three reasons. First, I was able to befriend two wonderful scientists who were willing to answer all of my curious questions and inform me about the overall procedures and purpose of what we were doing. I’m still able contact them if I ever have questions. Second, I gained a plethora of knowledge about advanced lab techniques that are used ubiquitously in modern research. Rather than just reading about these procedures in a textbook, I was able to see them unfold right before my eyes. Lastly, I was able to step back and appreciate all of the interconnected steps and multiple people it takes to make a full research project come to fruition. Working in the animal surgery room was my favorite part of the experience as I got to help perform multiple live surgeries on rats.
Evan Wilson, Jordan Valley Innovation Center, Fall 2014
I chose to do service-learning because it allowed me to be in the classroom and experience what being a teacher is like. I had no idea what Title I schools looked like and working at Robberson gave me that experience. I loved being able to be around kids almost every day of the week as I assisted them with Math. I also gained great friendships with the teachers I worked with and I felt like I was part of the school and could turn to them if I had questions.
Brittney Hartman, Robberson Community School, Fall 2014
Service-learning has given me opportunities to do things that I wouldn’t have been able to do or experience otherwise. My time at the Gillioz has taught me so much! Sitting in a classroom retaining enough knowledge to be able to pass a test is great, but going out and getting your hands dirty, actually doing the work, that is what you’ll remember. I’ve been exposed to the ins and outs of making a concert happen, and been able to help in the process of seeing it through.
Audrey Mathis, Gillioz Theatre, Fall 2014
I chose to do service-learning because as a social work major, I believe it’s important to interact with and serve people in the community. Having a broader range of connections strengthens my ability to help my clients reach their needs in the future. The experience benefited me not only professionally and academically, but also personally. I got to gain first-hand exposure to some of the situations I may have to deal with as a social worker and advocate, as well as take what I had done at the Rare Breed and apply them to things being taught in the classroom.
Johnathan Boddie, Rare Breed, Spring 2014