April 13, 2015
Drury University offers a variety of specialty housing where students can develop interests and serve the community. Many of these housing options are selective and require students to engage in additional activities that engage them through service or academics.
One such option is the Summit Park Leadership Community, an apartment-style environment aimed primarily at sophomores. It’s more than just a nice place to live. Summit Park engages students in a living-learning environment that focuses on the principles of leadership while incorporating the value of community service.
Student teams selected to live in Summit Park form year-long partnerships with local community nonprofits and commit to 15 hours of community service a semester – though many far exceed that requirement. Students lend their skills and passions to these projects. Past partner agencies have included Harmony House, the Boys & Girls Clubs and One Sole Purpose. Students serve in any way possible and update a blog about their project.
Paige Wilson, a member of the team working with One Sole Purpose this year, says her most rewarding experience was “when I went to the elementary schools to handout the shoes the children had received.”
“The children were so grateful and it was a heartwarming experience,” said roommate and fellow team member Olivia Wheat.
Living in an on-campus apartment is a draw, but the chance to develop leadership and teamwork skills is just as appealing to students wishing to join the program.
“We loved the idea of helping our community while growing as leaders,” Wheat said.
Wheat said working with One Sole Purpose taught their group “how to effectively communicate.” Her team has not only been immersed in a professional setting, but they’ve also been exposed to people from walks of life they may have never encountered previously.
“We always think that shoes are a simple thing to have, but that is not always the case,” Wilson said. “We can never take anything for granted.”
Story by Trevor Cobb, writing major at Drury. A version of this story originally appeared in the Springfield News-Leader.