Read testimonials from some of our students.
Christina Khim, a first semester student at KCC, recently moved to the United States from Burma. She knew it would be a difficult transition because of language barriers, but she has gone above and beyond nonetheless. She decided to do a service learning project as part of her Introduction to Sociology class because she thought it would be helpful for her studies. She did her service at the National Resource Center for Racial Healing and her duties were to coordinate the volunteer center and complete a research project for the organization on the relationship of Race and Health. Of her experience she said “I really appreciate the experience of service learning at the NRCRH. From the research that I did for this service learning program, I am very informed about Race and Health in the United States. And, I am also very proud to help the NRCRH who is doing a very important mission in this country.” Christina created a PowerPoint presentation from her research that the NRCRH can use in the future.
Stephanie Higgins and Jennifer Rome
Two sisters, Stephanie Higgins and Jennifer Rome, worked together on a service learning project as part of their SERV 200 course. The project itself was created by Stephanie and Jennifer and is called the “Literacy Awareness Project” with the Marshall Church of Christ. They gather books with food baskets and deliver them to families who are the less fortunate, in order to fight hunger and literacy needs at the same time. The impulse to create the project was sparked by some troubling facts that Stephanie had learned. She says, “Literacy is very important for children to go to Kindergarten and be ready for their education. Many high school drop-outs make the decision to drop-out in the 4th grade.” From doing this project the sisters learned time management and how to better open up to people. Stephanie says, “I would definitely recommend taking one of the many offered service learning classes due to the fact that I learned so much about myself in mine.”
Hi, my name is Trevor Eason and I have attended KCC for 2 1/2 semesters. I wanted to take a class that seemed different and at the same time something new. I was introduced to Service Learning and at first I thought it was going to be just another class, but I was wrong and realized this class was a great tool to get out into the community and do something. I was introduced to a non-profit agency called CityLinC. Their mission is to connect children and youth to loving families, families to secure futures, individuals to caring communities, and a community to personal faith. Dale Boyer, CityLinC director, has introduced me to many things that have helped me see what needs still need to be met in the community and greater Battle Creek. The passion CityLinC shows for its mission and vision is full proof and something to be looked upon by aspiring students. This experience would never have been possible without my Service Learning class. I have taken many things from this experience especially the people who surrounded me at CityLinC. My new found abilities will help train me with my professional life and goals that lie ahead. Thanks to the collaboration of the non-profit organizations in Battle Creek and Kellogg Community College, every willing student can achieve and have this experience for themselves. Thanks to Glenda Morling, Megan Russell, Dale Boyer, and CityLinC.
As a Service Learning 200 student, Amy Steele worked in the Women’s Resource Center at a local nonprofit called CityLinC. Her main duties were assisting young clients who came in needing support with topics in relation to pregnancy. As Amy’s career aspirations were becoming a labor and delivery nurse, the service learning experience fit perfectly with her goals. Of her time at CityLinC, Amy said, “I was really able to experience a lot of diverse situations with young mothers while speaking to them about pregnancy and STDs. I was able to volunteer my time to help them with these topics, but I got back the opportunity to speak with young mothers. I think as a labor and delivery nurse I’m going to run into these situations a lot.” Amy’s SERV 200 class gave her new insight about her own ambitions, but also meant a lot to the clients and the nonprofit partner that she worked with.
Ashambi Guy completed service learning as part of the requirements for an Introduction to Sociology class at KCC. She served at Inasmuch House in Battle Creek, a shelter that provides support for women and families in need. Ashambi assisted in the office and in supporting clients. She said of her service, “This service learning experience helped me get some hands on experience in one of the many careers of a human service worker. I discovered that the clients are learning to be productive citizens in society, and successful parents. I learned that the staff are very caring and warm people with a passion for what they do.” Ashambi exceeded the required 15 hours of service and wrote about her experience as part of the class, relating her reflections to sociology.
Daniel Giese elected to do a service learning project for his sociology course as it would allow him to get some hands-on experience out in the community. Daniel got connected with the Haven of Rest, a local human services organization. But more than get experience, Daniel was able to make a big impact on the Haven and also learn about topics covered in his class. He says, “My favorite part about serving at the Haven is being able to coordinate some fundraising and find items to be bid on at a big auction.” Further, Daniel said, “I’ve learned that homelessness is actually a lot bigger problem in Battle Creek than I previously had thought. I’ve also learned that homelessness, according to sociology, plays a huge economic role on the city that it affects due to the high costs it takes to run a shelter like the Haven.” Daniel has been instrumental in funding these costs and helping the Haven’s many social programs by bringing in in-kind donations for their big spring sponsor dinner.
William Poindexter is a paralegal student currently enrolled at Kellogg Community College. As an older student, what some schools might label non-traditional, William is very clear on his goals and how to reach them. When he was presented with the opportunity to do service learning in his paralegal class, William jumped at the chance to gain some real world experience while strengthening his understanding of the concepts he was learning. In search of a service opportunity, William attended the fall Volunteer and Civic Engagement Fair held at KCC. There he filled out an application for a local homeless shelter, the Haven of Rest, to see if he could be of help there. The Haven was happy to have him and helped him create a service project that could use his knowledge of the legal system to help others. Chris Bitgood, an employee at the Haven, leads a Life Skills group twice a week at the men’s shelter at the Haven. He invited William to participate in the group, and answer questions the men at the shelter had about various legal matters. Describing his service project, William said, “I give general information about legal policies, procedures and I make referrals to the Bar Association for criminal matters and Legal Aid for civil matters.” On occasion, he also makes phone calls to various legal offices on behalf of the men. Williams believes that through his classwork at KCC he has learned a lot about the law and during his time at the Haven of Rest he has learned how to be a good paralegal in practice. In addition to contributing legal advice, William also joined in the larger discussions during each session. Often the topics of self-esteem and recovering from addiction came up. “I have the same issues, at a different level, as they are having here.” William said. “I have the same self-esteem issues; I have the same personal issues that we talk about here. So not only am I helping them, they are helping me.” Although his service learning project finished out with the fall 2011 semester, William plans to continue participating in the bi-weekly life skills group at the Haven of Rest.