Service scholars lend helping hand

Stevenson University’s second annual service scholarship program awarded 27 new service scholars for the 2017-2018 school year.

Some of the inaugural class of the Service Scholars participated in Mustangs Make a Difference Day in 2016. (Photo from of Stevenson University Facebook)

The Service Scholarship program offers first-year students the opportunity to explore their purpose in service learning, improve the world around them, and discover skills that may enhance personal and social growth.

The Service Scholars have high expectations for the school year. Morgan Somerville, director of student engagement, explained that each service scholar has a direct partnership with a local nonprofit in the community for whom each student serves on a regular basis to complete a required minimum of 100 hours of service per academic year.

“Our main goal for the partnerships is for the students to take ownership and become real members of their nonprofit team,” said Somerville.

Stevenson service scholars pride themselves on their commitment to service, and that is reflected through their work. Each scholar is required to enroll in a total of three service-learning courses prior to graduation. They must also attend monthly meetings and reflection sessions within the academic year.

Somerville explained, “We set these requirements in order to help foster and grow each member’s commitment to service.”

The Service and Leadership scholars participated in a variety of orientation activities. (Photo from Facebook)

There are many benefits to the program, and the outcomes for the scholars are significant, said Somerville. Each student walks away with tangible leadership skills, service experience, and a supportive community of peers and mentors.

Sophomore service scholar Maya Planter said, “I think I am more well-rounded and prepared for the real world because of this inclusive program.” The sophomore also explained how the program has helped her redefine her goals for the future, as well as create an awareness of her environment.

The freshmen service scholars are offered the convenience of residing in the service scholarship living-learning housing. They are all placed in a certain section of the residence halls to establish bonds with students who have similar service interests in order to expand upon their Stevenson experience.

More than half of the service scholars participate in “Mission: I’m Home” and other service projects offered at or through Stevenson. All of the active service scholars are also eligible for the President of the United States’ Volunteer Service Award.

For incoming students, the application requires submitting a separate specialty scholarship form and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. To learn more about the Service Scholarship program, click here.

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