CEDARVILLE — Most college courses include notes, papers and exams, but for some students it involves another unique requirement: Community service. Cedarville’s Advocacy Communication class requires students to complete 30 hours of service during the semester with a nonprofit organization of their choice.
In addition to class lectures and assignments, 11 students taking the course fall 2017 served throughout the semester and then documented their experience through a video presentation. While the class required 30 hours of service, the students went above and beyond.
The students completed more than 1,000 service hours since August. For some, this continued a previous commitment with a new focus for the class, and for others this was an opportunity to try something new.
Nathan Overlock, a senior professional writing and information design major from Maine, worked with 4 Paws for Ability through a student service organization on campus called K9s at the Ville. Overlock began working with 4 Paws his freshman year, socializing service dogs in training and helping with fundraising and awareness.
“Working with 4 Paws has been the most fulfilling part of my time at Cedarville. Though socializing a future service dog takes a lot of dedication and extra attention, I’ve been able to incorporate it into my class and work schedule and everything else I’m involved in on campus,” Overlock said. “This constantly reminds me of the profound impact that we’re able to have on others even as we go through daily life.”
Natalia Kirychuck, a junior theater performance major from Maryland, spent her semester working with two different organizations: Miami Valley Women’s Center, a pregnancy resource clinic in Xenia, Ohio; and King’s Kids, a ministry for refugee children in Dayton.
“I have absolutely loved serving those who can’t speak for themselves,” Kirychuck said.
For Heather Heritage, assistant professor of communication, the Advocacy Communication class is valuable because it gives students not only book knowledge, but practical experience that will help them apply classroom lessons and provide unforgettable opportunities to serve others.
“The skills they learn in this class will benefit anyone who has a passion or a desire to love others,” Heritage said. “And it will leave students with an experience they will remember for a lifetime.”