(September 7, 2012)

Students explore service opportunities for Trek

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary students looking for ways to give back to the Shreveport-Bossier community explored a service-learning fair held in Kilpatrick Auditorium, Thursday, September 6.

Community Renewal and student
LaFarlette (L) listens to service opportunities for Community Renewal

"Service-learning is an essential part of the Centenary experience because it is one of the College's best ways of demonstrating learning into action," said Chris Lavan, Director of Global Engagement. "Last year alone, over 220 students completed over 5,400 hours of community-engaged learning through our program. Through these experiences, the faculty teach our students invaluable knowledge in the classroom that our students then use to positively change the face of the community."

The Renzi Education Center, SciPort, Chimp Haven, Martin Luther King, Jr. Health Center, and Community Renewal were among the Shreveport-Bossier non-profits that took part in the event. Helping out a local non-profit is nothing new to Todd LaFarlette, a senior economics major. Having previously worked with SciPort, he sought to renew contact during the fair.

"Service-learning is not only helping individuals but also giving back to the community as a whole," said LaFarlette. "Participating in service-learning offers focused learning through the community—you get back the human capital that you put in."

LaFarlette along with many other fair attendees is taking Community 153: Learning through Community this fall. After completing their service hours, students will share what they learned from their experiences with their classmates. Attendance was not limited to CO 153 students with many Ladies and Gents seeking out the fair to find new ways to serve their community and fulfill the community component of Trek.

The community component of Trek requires students to complete 30 hours of service-learning with one of the College's non-profit community partners or an approved project or experience. Trek is an experience-based program designed to enhance students' self-knowledge and social awareness through the exploration of career, culture, and community. Completing all three components of Trek is a graduation requirement for all Centenary students.