Inspired by Hiram College alumnus George Bellamy, who in 1896 founded one of the country’s first settlement houses in Cleveland, Ohio, Hiram Service Leaders are a select group of students who serve with local nonprofit agencies and participate in a multi-year student leadership program, all with a focus on ethical awareness, reflection, and action.Students reflect on and advocate for fairness, impartiality, and equality while addressing systematic social and environmental issues and participate intentionally as a citizen in the democratic process, actively engaging in direct service and public policy.
To provide students with opportunities to develop their capacities in the areas of leadership, ethics and civic engagement while benefiting local community service agencies.
The Program’s Elements
Serve with an area nonprofit agency:
- Students serve as service leaders at area community partner agencies, recruiting, transporting and helping to facilitate additional student volunteers and interns.
- Work study awards or stipends of up to $1,800 a year at hourly wages are provided to eligible students on a selective basis for their work with partner agencies.
Engage in related academic coursework and skill building:
- Students participate in and attend annual ethics’ theme events. The 2013-2014 ethics’ theme is Ability and Disability.
- Students are strongly encouraged to take an ethics course from the ethics’ minor (Engaged Citizenship or Ethical Thinking), or an ethics’ course from within their major or minor.
- All Hiram Service Leaders are required to write monthly articles high-lighting the agency they serve and collaborative efforts between the agency they serve and Hiram College.
Participation in retreats and professional development:
- Annual fall service retreats orient Service Leaders and build community.
- Students are invited (not required) to participate in an alternative break service trip that impels them to learn about, reflect on, and act to address a root cause of environmental, social and/or economic inequity in a community.
- The Office of Civic Engagement assists Hiram Service Leaders in identifying additional internships and job and scholarship opportunities.
Agencies and Partners:
- Coleman Professional Services is a not-for-profit provider of behavioral health and rehabilitation programs. Hiram students volunteer and intern at one of their three programs in Ravenna. http://www.coleman-professional.com
- Hattie Larlham provides health care and social programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Hiram College has a long-standing relationship with Hattie Larlham with various departments, student organizations, and individual students volunteering and interning at their facility in Mantua, OH. http://www.hattielarlham.org
- Hiram College Tutoring Program is an evening tutoring and mentoring program engaging area elementary and middle school age youth.
- Hiram Farm Living & Learning Community is a nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to grow, learn, work, and live in a setting focused on respect and support for individuals and the environment. Hiram College supports the Farm in a variety of ways, from service learning courses, to federal work study students, and volunteer projects. http://www.hiramfarm.org
- Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that rescues, rehabilitates, and provides an adoption program for abused, abandoned, & neglected farm animals. Hiram Service leaders serve at and provide transportation weekly to Happy Trails. Projects include animal care, landscaping and mucking out animal pens and stalls. http://happytrailsfarm.org
- King Kennedy Center is a community center in Ravenna which serves youth in the community through after school tutoring and a summer day camp program. Hiram students are especially involved in the afterschool tutoring program.
- Little Village Early Learning Center is located at Hiram Christian Church and their mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment to foster the physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth of children through hands-on, developmentally appropriate play and educational activities.
- Portage Parks and Hiram Field Station engage students in land conservation activities, seeking to preserve and manage protected land while engaging and educating the public. http://www.portageparkdistrict.org
- Olive Branch Fair Trade Outreach Program is a student directed program that takes fair trade products to area churches and community events to raise awareness of fair trade and to make fair trade more accessible.
- Renaissance Family Center is a community center in Windham, which houses a number of local social service agencies. Hiram College facilitates an afterschool tutoring program at Renaissance Family Center.
- University Hospitals Portage Medical Center is a 150-staffed-bed progressive hospital serving the residents of Portage County, including an urgent care facility. Various volunteer positions are available at UH Portage Medical Center.