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Students Connect to Nonprofit Community Through Summer Program


Drake's Summer Service-Learning and Social Justice Program pairs students with nonprofits.

Seven students have the opportunity this summer to actively engage in the community through internships at area nonprofits through Drake's Summer Service-Learning and Social Justice Program (SSSJP).

Students are compensated for their work with the nonprofits through the Slay Fund for Social Justice, which was launched by a gift to distinctlyDrake from Brent, ED'70, and Diane, ED'70, Slay.

The Slays' generosity serves not only to provide students with experiential learning opportunities and promote social justice, but also to further connect Drake with Des Moines and the nonprofit agencies that call the city home. Throughout their internships, students are encouraged to look critically at the roots of social issues and evaluate the community impact of their work through participation in discussion groups.

"Pairing students with social agencies will raise awareness of these issues and be good for the city of Des Moines," Brent Slay says.

7 Student Participants
The following students are taking part in the 2014 service-learning program:

  1. Brenna Cox, a sophomore sociology and economics major, who is working for Dress for Success Des Moines
  2. Madeline Cramer, a sophomore English major, who is helping Minorities on the Move
  3. Bryce Dorff, a sophomore majoring in environmental science, who will be assisting with the Drake-based Sprout Urban Youth Learning Garden
  4. Lizzie Maassen, a junior public relations student, who is interning at the Evelyn K. Davis Center
  5. Shafiq Nasran, a sophomore actuarial science major, who will spend the summer working for Children and Family Urban Movement
  6. ohn Noble, a sophomore rhetoric major, who will participate in the Lutheran Services of Iowa: Global Greens Project
  7. Brian Robinson, a junior English and writing major, who is volunteering at the After School Arts Program

By encouraging the students to make community service a priority in their lives and introducing them to the challenges facing their community, the Slays believe the program will have an impact that lasts far beyond the students' participation this summer.

"I hope these projects will provide an opportunity for students to be involved in the community and transcend some of the problems that exist in our society," Brent Slay says.

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