Meredith College has launched a new service scholarship for students who are deeply committed to service in their communities and civic engagement. Scholarships are available for incoming freshmen who will enroll at Meredith in fall 2017.
The new scholarships are made possible, in part, by a gift from Board of Trustees Chair Alex Holmes and his wife, Charlotte, because of their dedication to community service.
“As a long-time Meredith trustee, I want Meredith to continue to be viewed as an active and exemplary community citizen,” said Alex Holmes. “Having more and more students actively involved in the community can only enhance that image and visibility.”
Service Scholars should be creative individuals that have a strong understanding of principles of community engagement and a desire to learn from their experiences. They must have a desire to be involved in their community throughout their four years at Meredith. Scholars must be comfortable working with people from diverse backgrounds and open to ideas that may differ from their own.
“Giving students the opportunity to deeply engage in the communities surrounding our campus provides them with a better understanding of the concerns facing our diverse populations and our environment,” said Callie DeBellis, chair of the Meredith Community Engagement Advisory Committee.
Once they have been accepted into the program, Service Scholars will participate in a specialized learning community, where they will take courses in a variety of disciplines, reflect critically about the root causes of various societal issues, and will engage in creating solutions with their partner organizations toward the goal of social justice for the communities with which they serve.
“Critical reflection throughout the experience allows students to think more deeply about the root causes of the community issue in which they are engaged and to develop possible solutions to remedy these problems through capacity building, rather than simply charity work,” said DeBellis. “It also provides students with hands-on experience with community partners that will enhance their career readiness, no matter what field they may pursue.”
Service Scholars will be required to complete 45 hours in the community per semester, participate in critical reflection four times each school year, lead or co-lead a peer reflection session during their last two years on campus, participate in a First Year Experience (FYE) section specific to service scholars, take two courses that address societal issues or are designated community-based learning classes, complete a culminating experience during their senior year, and create a digital portfolio.
Community-based learning combines the best of active learning and civic engagement by connecting classroom learning with service projects that benefit the community. Students gain hands-on experience that puts course material into practice, while creating mutually-beneficial relationships with community partners to make a real difference.
For more information on the requirements and guidelines of the service scholarship or to apply, visit meredith.edu/scholarship/detail/service-scholars.