Students making a difference
The summer 2007 issue of M, the University of Minnesota’s “quarterly publication for all alumni, friends, faculty, and staff” has a nice article entitled “Making a difference: U students are helping to change the world…while they’re still in school”. It profiles a number of students and lists the different projects in which they’re engaged:
- construction and engineering relief work in Costa Rica and Pakistan through Engineers Without Borders
- a senior civil engineering project aimed at bringing clean water to a village in Ghana
- translation services for low-income Spanish speakers for their tax returns
- tutoring Spanish-speaking inner city schoolchildren
- a spring break trip organized by Students Today Leaders Tomorrow called the Pay It Forward Tour, where students travel across the country, stop in a different city each night, and perform a community service project each day
- service learning involving 1,988 students in 63 courses on the Twin Cities campus, and a substantial fraction of that on the much smaller UM Morris campus
- photography instruction and cameras for residents of Divine House in Morris (which teaches independent living skills to people with cognitive or developmental disabilities) , so that they could create artistic photo collages
- participation in Teach for America
- establishment of CHANCE, a yearlong curriculum that will expand civic engagement among Humphrey Institute graduate students, staff, and faculty and build sustainable relationships with the neighboring Cedar-Riverside community
- the annual Fill the Bus event, a clothing drive that fills multiple buses with winter clothing for the neediest of Minnesotans
- research in Egypt on a device designed to reduce the loss of blood—and ultimately women’s lives—from obstetric hemorrhage.
- creating and raising money for Student Project Africa Network (SPAN), a nonprofit organization that connects students to service organizations in Africa
This is a striking set of examples of some of the ways that students are involved in public engagement activities that help both them and the broader community.