Over 90 high school students from Naperville, IL, will spend their week June 12-18 at Westminster College performing community service projects to benefit Central Missouri.
Approximately 132 youth leaders and students from Knox Presbyterian Church will tackle projects in Fulton, Jefferson City and Columbia that range from building ADA ramps for the disabled to a complete renovation of The Clothes Cupboard location (a program of SERVE, Inc.), Rickman Center and at client homes of the Boone County Council for Aging.
The idea was the brainchild of Randy Johnson, Westminster class of 1974, and his wife Kim who often go on these week long trips for community service organized by their church, Knox Presbyterian Church.
Knowing how committed the Westminster College community is
to service-learning and civic responsibility, Johnson felt the campus would be the ideal base of operations for this year's trip. Randy, Kim and daughter Jesse, who is a 2010 Westminster graduate, will be a part of the group.
The group will eat breakfast every morning on campus, leave in teams with sack lunches to spend the day at their assigned service project sites and then return to campus for the evening meal, activities and overnight. The group will complete over 6,000 hours of service while in the Central Missouri area as a result of five, seven-hour work days.
Dr. Bob Hansen, Executive Director of the Emerson Center for Leadership & Service, and Jill Olson, Program Director for Community Engagement & Service-Learning, worked with Knox Presbyterian Church officials Senior Pastor Clint Roberts, Youth and Young Adult Minister Robert Quiring and Go & Serve Steering Committee Member Bob Pierce to identify projects and make room and board arrangements for the group. A scouting team from the church came to Mid-Missouri last month to visit potential work sites. From that visit, they were able to determine the highest priority projects for their 12 teams to work with while in the area.
The group will bring twelve 15 passenger vans and 2-3 support vehicles.
"The complete renovation of The Clothes Cupboard would not be possible without the community service work these young people are undertaking next week," says Lisa Brown, Executive Director of SERVE. "They are also doing some landscaping and improvements at our headquarters that will make a much more inviting atmosphere for our guests when they come to us for services. We are excited to welcome them to Fulton."
Founded in 1960, Knox Presbyterian Church has over 1,500 members and a full-time staff of 8 and part-time staff of 32.
Founded in 1851, Westminster College is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation, according to the rankings of U.S.News & World Report. Forbes magazine previously selected Westminster as one of America's Top 50 Colleges and Universities, the Best Liberal Arts College in Missouri and one of the Best Liberal Arts Colleges in America. The Princeton Review recently named the College as one of the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the ninth straight year. Newsweek-Kaplan named it "One of the 372 Most Interesting Schools in America." Westminster has also been recognized as one of 240 Colleges of Distinction and CosmoGirl magazine named the school one of the Top 100 American Colleges for women. These recognitions reflect Westminster's ongoing commitment to providing a superior collegiate experience for its students, who come from 28 states and 66 different foreign countries. This selective college for men and women is known for its small class sizes taught by an excellent faculty.
Westminster College is internationally recognized for hosting major leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill who made his famous "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster in 1946. This one historic moment has led to a steady procession of world leaders bringing their messages to Westminster over the years, including four U.S. Presidents, Mikhail Gorbachev, Margaret Thatcher and numerous other U.S. and world leaders such as James Baker, Dick Chaney, John Kerry and Robert Kennedy, Jr. The National Churchill Museum on campus, the only museum in North America totally devoted to Winston Churchill's life and work, is a state-of-the-art interactive showcase, symbolizing Westminster's educational mission to graduate the world's future "leaders of character."