Highlights from Fall Service Programs
This semester kicked off Community-Engaged Leadership’s (CEL) new Days of Service model at App State. Each month CEL sends students out to local community partners in the High Country to serve within a specific social issue context. Students complete volunteer tasks with nonprofits and participate in a student-led reflection on their experience to expand their knowledge of local social issues and explore how to practice equity-minded leadership and service within those contexts.
CEL hosted three days of service this Fall: Hello High Country, Fall Into Service, and Building up Boone. Over these three days, we had 120 volunteers complete 480 service hours in partnership with 10 community partners whose missions directly impact Watauga County. We will host three more days of service in the Spring 2023 semester: Mobilize the Mountains (February), Spring into Action (March), and Farm Day of Service (April).
CEL also implemented a new model for our ongoing service program called Community Fellows. Community Fellows is an immersive semester-long experience where a group of students form a Community of Practice to partner with a local nonprofit and work to address a specific social issue through the lenses of education, service, philanthropy and advocacy. Students complete regular service with the nonprofit, as well as work with their group to plan education and advocacy events for the App State community. Social Issue themes for this year are Food Security and Hunger Alleviation (working with Hunger & Health Coalition), Youth Development and Education (working with Children’s Playhouse), and Environmental Justice (working with A Clean Wilson’s Creek).
The Hunger Alleviation Community of Practice has been pouring their efforts this semester in the Hunger Challenge as a way to win $10,000 for Hunger and Health Coalition. They have organized food drives through A Simple Gesture, educational events focused on food security in the High Country, and our hosting a Free Farmer’s Market for App State students this Friday November 18th to raise awareness about college food insecurity and local resources to help.
Community-Engaged Leadership is excited to continue strengthening our partnerships with local nonprofits and expanding App State student’s understanding of social issues affecting our local community.