The project was initiated through the Student Acton Office's (SAO) programs for alternative service and civic engagement, which are in support of The U's academic and service missions. By the time the students traveled home, they had provided 114 hours of service.�
The students served Phoenix House and The Mary McAuley Center for Women and Families, two shelters in the area which help families and individuals cope with a variety of issues such as domestic and sexual abuse.
The trip was led by Americorps VISTA member Sara Shaffer from the Student Action Office (SAO) at USD. Shaffer noted the positive impact that real world experience provided for the volun-teers.
"These trips are a wonderful opportunity for students to be exposed to important issues facing or communities and neighborhoods. There are many problems and issues that students need to learn about and the best place to do that is in the real world. We hope that these service trips awaken a spirit of volunteerism and civic engagement to empower individuals and communities to make their lives better," Shaffer said.
Student participants were Tara Anderson, Yankton; Jenny Benzel, Billings, MT; Kassie Ehresmann, Yankton; Krysta Kooi, Sioux Center, Iowa; Candyce Larsen, Yankton; Rebecca McDowell, Middletown, RI; and Melissa Patten, Storm Lake, IA.
The SAO is supported by The University of South Dakota and a grant from Learn and Serve America through the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education and the Corporation for National & Community Service. For more information, contact the Student Action Office at 677-6337 or at action@u sd.edu.