As part of a George Williams College foundation course, first-year students have the unique opportunity to gain real-world experience in addition to helping the community.
Service projects for undergraduates include mentoring children through Big Brothers Big Sisters; coaching young athletes with the Delevan Department of Parks and Recreation; seed harvesting at the Kishwauketoe Nature Conservancy; maintaining the Ice Age Trail; and volunteering at the annual Williams Bay Halloween haunted trail “Boo in the Bay.”
In conjunction with their service, students are given a variety of reflective class assignments that assist them in the process of their project. Through these tasks, in-class lessons and activities, undergraduates interact and discuss important and personal issues that affect their lives. Students begin to develop ways to build values and skills congruent with responsible citizenship within the college and community.
“My favorite part about teaching the GWC College Experience course is getting to know the students through their writings,” said Director of Student Success Jenni Herrick. “I have found that students really open up through their reflective essays that I have assigned, and I love that they have trusted me enough to share some of their personal experiences with me.”
The GWC course also offered a group service experience, the Urban Plunge Immersion trip in coordination with St. Ben’s Community Meal Program of Milwaukee. Students spent the night taking part in the community meal program by assisting in serving dinner and providing hospitality to the evening guests, as well as learning about local agencies that serve the homeless. This experience enabled undergraduates to understand first-hand the struggles and challenges that the homeless and working poor face on a daily basis. The group also participated in a city trash clean-up.
For more information on how GWC students learn through service, click here.