Missouri State University students who take on a component service-learning course get to understand their academic coursework better while at the same time work at various local non-profit organizations, schools and government agencies that are making a difference in our community. Each spring and fall semesters, about 80 to 100 students enroll in service-learning and they are involved in many different types of work and projects. Here’s what several of the students who did service-learning in 2015 shared about their experiences:
I decided to do service-learning because I love working with children and wanted to tie that in with helping someone. By working at Douglas Head Start, I got to gain some experience working with children while helping the teachers at the same time. I loved my experience here. Children in this age group are so loving and hungry for knowledge. They are more than willing to hear what you have to say and respond to it. As my service-learning was for my nutrition class, I focus my time helping the children to understand that in a couple different ways. During free play I spend a lot of time in the cooking area with the kids discussing the health benefits of the different “foods” they are making. During meal times we discuss the different options they have and which are considered to be healthier. This experience helped me understand my coursework better because I got to see how others respond to being taught about nutrition. It also made me want to remember my coursework in more detail so that when the children asked questions, and they asked a lot, I have the answers for them.
Macey Hausam, Childhood Education & Family Studies
Completed service-learning at OACAC Douglas Head Start, Spring 2015
My experience with OPB was extremely beneficial; they have helped me make connections and become more involved with the entertainment industry. Throughout my time with them, I made programs and certificates, sold raffle tickets at events and worked with suppliers and vendors. Being involved with service-learning has pushed me, not only to be the best I can for OPB, but to really excel in my involvement with other organizations on campus. I am able to apply what I have learned from my MGT 310 course to my actual work with OPB. My sense of leadership and charisma have only brightened, and I have CASL and OPB to thank for that.
Clara Wehmeyer, Management
Completed service-learning at Ozarks Public Broadcasting (OPB), Fall 2015
I chose to do service-learning at the Dickerson Park Zoo because I’m an animal lover, a pre-vet major and I already work with dogs and cats at work so I wanted a new experience. I enjoyed working with new animals that I would normally only see behind a fence. I helped clean and feed all the animals in a particular area of the zoo. The experience was very eye opening. It was hard work, but I gained a new respect for people who work with exotic animals. Doing service-learning helped me to see more job opportunities for my major that I may not have considered before.
Rachel Mitchell, Biology
Completed service-learning at Dickerson Park Zoo, Fall 2015
The Fairbanks interested me because it’s a place that is focused on making the local community a better place and reaching out to members of the community who are in need. My experience at the Fairbanks was really great. The people at the Fairbanks are very kind and appreciate any and all the help they receive. What I enjoy most about working at the Fairbanks is getting to interact one-on-one with the community members and see the smiles that we help put on their faces. It’s truly gratifying. Being involved at the Fairbanks has helped me understand how difficult it can be for a low-income family to get proper nutrition. Sure, you can learn all about what you should and shouldn’t eat, but actually putting that knowledge to use in a real-life situation is harder than you’d think. Service-learning at the Fairbanks has been a great opportunity for me to make a change in the lives of our neighbors.
Leah Brand, Biomedical Sciences
Completed service-learning at the Fairbanks, Fall 2015