Impact Expo to highlight students’ community solutions

Madison Martin

It’s that crazy time of the year when projects are being completed in a frenzy and material is being reviewed yet again in the wee hours of the night. But other ritualistic components of the semester’s end are banquets, awards nights and presentations to review and commemorate what has been accomplished over the past several months.

One such presentation is the 2016 Service-Learning Impact Expo Tuesday afternoon in Mass Media Auditorium from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It’s a semiannual event open to all those who would like to learn how students impacted the community this semester via $100 Solution projects.

The presentation will be an opportunity for student groups to present what they learned and accomplished with crafted posters and slide shows. According to the ALIVE Center’s website, the $100 Solution is a framework for students to develop their service learning skills as they work with the community to address a need using just $100.

“Our goal with the Impact Expo is to just let people know what has been done, what can be done, and … what else there is to do,” Louisville grad student Kamla Jones said. Jones is a graduate assistant at the ALIVE Center who helps train $100 Solution students in the program and in grant writing.

Some examples of projects to be presented are the repair of bicycles for children and creation of a bicycle maintenance video for Barren River Area Safe Space, a shelter for those who have experienced domestic violence, along with building and repairing flower beds for HOTEL INC.

Michael Shelton, Owensboro sophomore and resident at the $100 Solution House, worked with the rest of the house’s residents to create a storyboard to produce a promotional video for United Way of Southern Kentucky.

The video is a part of a marketing strategy for the implementation of 2-1-1, a hotline that connects individuals to food, transportation, housing and more.

“One of the things that the $100 Solution is learning skills that you … wouldn’t have otherwise learned,” Shelton said.

Although $100 Solution projects vary from semester to semester, Houston native Kene Anyigbo, another graduate assistant working with service-learning students, said their positive effects on community partners are unchanging.

“[The students] learn more things that they wouldn’t have learned in the traditional classroom setting, and it also prepares them for life,” Anyigbo said. “Dealing with adversity and trying to come up with a long-term solution to an issue with minimal resources is a hard thing to do.”

Shelton identified five pillars central to the $100 Solution: partnership, reciprocity, capacity building, sustainability and reflection. He said they are all key to college students’ taking advantage of the opportunity to connect with and influence the world around them.

“It goes on to show that service learning is being performed here on campus, and students are making an impact through service learning,” Jones said. “It shows that there is care — that students do care about the Bowling Green community and want to have a greater impact on that community.”