Summer Service Fellows Support Local Efforts

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Publication Date: 6/11/2008

The Rhodes Summer Service Fellows have begun their nine-week summer experience that challenges Rhodes students to engage in significant community projects in response to requests from community organizations or as a result of the student’s independent initiative and interest. Working 35 hours a week with community organizations gives participants an insider’s view of how they operate. In addition, the participants live together and attend 5 hours of reflective programming each week.

Shadana Bracy ’10, a neuroscience major from Little Rock, AR, will work at the Hope and Healing Center, which provides holistic healthcare to uninsured and low income families. Specifically, Bracy will be working in the Child Life Education and Movement Center assisting in activities for children.  Programs will encourage good nutrition, high self-esteem, safety, and violence prevention.

Ciara Conway ’10, a biology major from Cordova, TN, will split her time between the Center for Research on Women (CROW) and Planned Parenthood. Conway’s research will center on emergency contraception and its misconceptions. Holding healthy sexuality sessions and conducting data collection and analysis are two of the tasks Conway will concentrate on this summer.

Douglas Degges ’09, an art major from Shreveport, LA, will work at the UrbanArt Commission this summer to interact with community members to ensure that community art projects fit their goals and are installed successfully.  In particular, Degges will consider how to use art as a significant means of communication and catalyst for change.

Kristin Forbes ’10, a music major from Nashville, TN, will integrate her love of kids with the inner-city neighborhood of Midtown North as she runs the Just for Kids program. This program will combine activities for children of the neighborhood allowing them to be mentored, learn new skills and ideas, and have fun. 

Erin Foster ’10, an urban studies major from Greenville, SC, will be working at A New Place Apartments to help begin a GED program.  Besides expanding the education program, she will also find ways to improve the job and interviewing skills of the residents. 

Haley Law ’09, an English major from Gardendale, AL, will concentrate her time with planning and implementing initiatives for children living in the Hollywood Springdale neighborhood as a part of the Rhodes Learning Corridor. Programs she will support include after-school tutoring and mentoring programs, Open Gym Days at Rhodes for community members, and Science Saturdays.

Catherine Lawson ’09, an English major from Stewart, FL, will work at Manna House, an organization that provides hospitality and meets the needs of the homeless. This summer, Lawson’s work will include creating a directory of all volunteers at the Manna House, assisting with special summer events, and providing hospitality.

Casey Mohan ’10, a political science major from Kirkwood, MO, will be working at the New Beginning Apartment complex which creates affordable and safe housing. Mohan will continue the renovation of the housing complex and raise awareness of its availability in the community.

Lars Nelson ’09, a history and religious studies major from Shreveport, LA, will be a senior counselor at the Summer SLAM program for inner-city youth. Nelson will mentor the middle-school participants and junior counselors as well as teach a character and leadership curriculum he is developing.

Anthony Siracusa ’09, a history and African American studies major from Memphis, will continue the implementation of the Freedom Journey program at First Congregational Church.  This includes facilitating nine weekend-long Freedom Journeys, which explore Memphis’ civil rights history, and developing a curriculum for a possible week-long Freedom Journey for the summer of 2009.  Specifically he will coordinate volunteers, programming, reservations, materials, payments and marketing.

Ian Todd ’09, a philosophy major from Memphis, will be working on the Street-by-Street project at Shasta Central. Todd will be learning about the needs of the residents of this low-income, inner-city community and communicating those needs to officials and volunteers who seek to meet those needs.

Rachel Touchstone ’09, an art history major from Punta Gorda, FL, will work as a project assistant at the Brooks Museum on the Memphis World exhibit, a project that highlights photographs from a local African American newspaper that documented African American life from 1931-1973. Touchstone will work on the physical appearance of the exhibit as well as assisting with the marketing and public relations of the project. 

Charles “Tyler” Turner ’11, a music major from McMinnville, TN, will be working with ArtsMemphis and the Rhodes Kinney Program to develop new ways the Rhodes community can support local arts and music organizations through community service. Specifically, Tyler will be working to involve more Rhodes students in supporting community initiatives for the arts, create a more effective volunteer system, and assist in communication between the city schools and ArtsMemphis. 

Courtney Waters ’11, an undecided major from Memphis, will be the Outreach Coordinator at Family Services of the Mid-South, helping underprivileged families obtain the services they need. By developing a directory of potential clients within the community and creating an outreach packet, Waters will work towards the promotion and awareness of the availability of outlets of help for families in the Memphis community. 

Charlotte Watson ’11, a philosophy major from Cutler Bay, FL, will be working at the MidSouth Peace and Justice Center, committed to promoting communities that value peace, social justice, and human rights.  Specifically, Watson will be working with Food Not Bombs and Grow Memphis, two programs that focus on homelessness and the importance of growing produce to minimize costs.

Wei Yu ’11, an undecided major from Memphis, will be working at Shasta Central in community outreach. Specifically, Yu will be working on developing new forms of communication for community members and conducting in-field surveys.