The Benedict College Service-Learning and Leadership Development (SLLD) Program hosted its 21st Annual PLUS Day (Preparation for Leadership and Unity through Service Day) on Saturday, April 16, 2016 in the Benjamin E. Mays Human Resource Center and the David H. Swinton Campus Center. Three new additions to this year day of service included the Sankofa Museum on Wheels (a collection display of memorable moments and artifacts in black history), Feeding Children Everywhere meal packaging project, as well as a Kid’s Fun Day with games, activities, and free giveaways. All activities are free and open to the public.
This year, nearly 400 students, faculty, staff and community members engaged in this day of community service serving 14 agencies, churches, and other faith-based organizations in the Midlands. PLUS Day participants assisted with preparing personal hygiene kits for the homeless, educate the community on issues such as disaster relief, plant gardens, and engage in other services to help improve communities in the Columbia area.
The 2016 Outstanding Service Award Recipients Each year we recognize individuals for their continuous support, dedication, and volunteering efforts. These individuals has served in various capacities and roles each year, always being reliable and staying true to the College’s motto of “Being a power for good”.
Ms. Ruby Blair
Ms. Sharon Brown
Ms. Brenda Clark
Ms. Mary Davis
Ms. Tamika Montgomery
The 2016 PLUS Day Service Project Spotlight “Feeding Children Everywhere” meal packing project was featured on channel News 10 (WIS), showcasing student volunteers packaging 10,000 meals for the nonprofit Feeding Children Everywhere that were distributed to two food pantries in the Midlands. Over 4,000 of those meals were delivered to Oliver Gospel Mission and God’s Store House Food Pantry in Columbia, South Carolina.
On Saturday, April 16, 2016 the Service-Learning and Leadership Development Program hosted their 21st annual PLUS (Preparation for Leadership and Unity through Service) Day. VISTA’s (Volunteers In Service To America) traveled from all across South Carolina to serve. As a VISTA, our goal is to make poverty history one day at a time, in any way possible. Since PLUS Day is a service day directly related to our main service objective, we joined in with no hesitation. We participated in two service activities which included hygiene product packing and meal packaging. In less than two hours, the VISTA’s and the Benedict College community packed over 10, 000 meals. Within a couple of days these meals will be on the tables of starving families. Donating time can be considered much more valuable than the donation of money or materialistic items. There is nothing more heartfelt than to know that you helped someone incapable of helping themselves at the time. PLUS Day is a wonderful event that meets the needs of the community!
Cameron Chisolm, a Benedict College Youth Leadership Institute participant and a junior at Spring Valley High School receives the Benedict College Trustee Scholarship! This scholarship award provides $13,000 annually. Cameron was offered the scholarship during her attendance at the HBCU College Fair hosted by Benedict College on March 23, 2016. Cameron has a 3.6 Grade Point Average and is a member of the Student Council, National Spanish Honor’s Society, and National Honor’s Society of High School Scholars. Upon graduation, she plans to attend Benedict College and major in computer science. The Service-Learning and Leadership Development Program fosters leadership and academic excellence for students like Cameron through our Youth Leadership Institute Program. We are so excited to have this future Tiger in our midst. Congratulations Cameron!
On February 6, 2016, 10 student leaders and 5 Service-Learning and Leadership Development staff members attended the 30th Annual Student Leadership and Diversity Conference at the University of South Carolina. Students and staff engaged in workshops that span the topics of both leadership and diversity. The conference focused on four core competencies: leadership development, foundations and pillars of success, diversity education, and social justice. One unique feature of the conference was the 45 minute networking session, which allowed attendees to connect with other student leaders and advisors, from across the southeast, on areas of leadership development. Overall, it was a great leadership and networking opportunity for all involved. Save the date, February 4, 2017, if you would be interested in attending next year.
In recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance, Benedict College Service-Learning and Leadership Development teamed up with the Freshman Institute and English Faculty to engage students in the Spread the Service Campaign. This campaign highlighted the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. It challenged students to spread the service over several days, making a greater impact on the community. Two events of this campaign occurred in the month of the observance: a viewing of the movie Selma and participation in King Day at the Dome.
Over 450 students attended the movie showing, which chronicled the tumultuous three-month period of Dr. King’s life in 1965. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led a dangerous campaign to secure equal voting rights in the face of violent opposition. The march from Selma to Montgomery culminated in President Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, one of the most significant victories for the civil rights movement.
The South Carolina State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted the 2016 King Day at the Dome on Monday, January 18, 2016 This event is an annual commemoration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. One hundred six (106) Benedict students participated in the march and rally that was attended by all three democratic presidential candidates. These national leaders stressed the importance of the upcoming election and the need for everyone’s voice to be heard at the polls.
Benedict College students benefited both personally and academically through their participation in these events.
On February 24, 2016, Service-Learning and Leadership Department (SLLD) hosted a Fort Jackson Partnership Meeting at Benedict College. There were nine military members in attendance. This meeting was approximately two hours and time was spent giving our military partners information about the services that the College can offer them as veterans and also when they return to civilian life. The welcome was provided by the SLLD Director, Mrs. Tondaleya Jackson followed by greetings from the College by the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Janeen Witty. The overview of the Veteran’s Center was given by the Dean of the School of Business and Economics, Mr. Gerald Smalls. Finally Dr. Burnett Joiner, the Dean of the School of Continuing Education gave an overview of the Milton Kimpson Center for the Graduate Studies and Continuing Education; directly followed by a tour of the Center given by the Assistant Dean, Dr. Hellenna Terrell and Academic Success Coordinator, Ms. Linda Barnes. The soldiers expressed how beneficial this meeting was and how much they looked forward to continuing their partnership with Benedict College.
On February 20, 2016, I attended a Yellow Ribbon Event in Myrtle Beach, SC. The Yellow Ribbon Event is designed for military personnel that are soon to be deployed and their families. At this event, I had the privilege of interviewing a member of the National Guard to understand the needs of military members and their families. I also interacted with the 45 children in attendance. Throughout the day as they built robots, the children watched instructional videos relevant to the robot that they were going to be building once they were split into teams. All the children had the opportunity to take part in building a robot, whether it was locating parts, reading directions or placing the new parts on the robot. I really enjoyed watching them work together and using their excellent partnership skills.