This year more than 1,000 students, faculty, and staff volunteered off campus on Southern’s 20th annual Community Service Day. It was a record turnout. But this is just one part of the Christian Service Program.
The program has been dubbed Intersect—where student education meets community need—and is fully integrated into all areas of education. Students are required to take a minimum number of classes that provide service credit, whether that means filming a documentary, building a rocking horse, or helping with afterschool programs for underserved children.
Charles Cammack, senior mass communications major, took Aging and Society during the fall semester last year to fulfill his service-class requirement. The class included 20 hours of service learning in a nursing home, and he chose Morning Pointe of Collegedale. That’s where he came in contact with Ms. Nelva.
“Ms. Nelva is 91 years old and one of the sweetest ladies I've ever met,” Charles said.
He was able to gained a huge appreciation for the senior generation, and he still visits Ms. Nelva every few weeks, even though it’s no longer a requirement.
“Aging and Society told me why I should appreciate the elderly, but the service learning is what showed me,” Charles said. “Service learning puts classroom concepts into action right away, and that is priceless.”