Service learning students recognized for community impact

May 10, 2013

Five Trinity students have been honored for their impact on the local community through the Service Learning Practicum (SLP) program during the 2012-13 academic year. A closing celebration was held May 10 in the Brammer Chapel.

Three students were awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award, given on behalf of President Barack Obama and the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation.

Alexander Couweleers was honored for his service to the marketing and development office of Volunteers of America Western Washington, a comprehensive human services organization based in downtown Everett. WendiLee MacCleod, VOA’s Volunteer Services Director, described the variety of experiences Alexander had in the past year, including the opportunity to edit grants and write website copy. “We will definitely miss him,” she said. “Having four of our staff here shows how important he has been to us this year.”

Iman Nassif was recognized for two years of service in children’s ministry and music ministry at Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek, as well as serving a community meal hosted monthly at Everett’s First Baptist Church.

Alex Johnston served as a worship leader at Pathways Church, a growing church plant in Mill Creek, Wash. Pastor Nick Loyd commented on the impact of Alex’s commitment to growing the church’s music and worship ministry. “Much of our success this year is due to Alex’s leadership,” he said.

Two other students, Kaeli Eberth and Fabian Ramos, were recognized for the significant number of service hours given to their respective organizations. Eberth volunteered over 130 hours in one semester with the boys’ soccer team at Marysville Getchell High School; Ramos served with Acorn Learning Center, Trinity’s on-site preschool and childcare program.

“Trinity’s emphasis on service learning continues to be a hallmark for the college,” said Professor Mark Jackson, director of the Center for Community Engagement. “It’s an avenue for students to experience servant leadership and explore their sense of vocation.”

Over 60 students participated in SLP during the 2012-13 academic year, serving a total of 3,500 hours in local nonprofits, churches, schools, and agencies. Students are required to complete at least two credits of Service Learning Practicum as part of The Crux, Trinity’s core curriculum for all students. Students select service experiences from about 45 opportunities offered through 25 approved community partners.