Mutual Benefits from Service-Learning

Brandon Bowman, Senior at WKU and Communications Liaison on The $100 Solution™ Board of Directors, encourages students to "blow service out of the water."

Brandon Bowman, Senior at WKU and Communications Liaison on The $100 Solution™ Board of Directors, encourages students to "blow service out of the water."

What started out as a class project turned into a lifestyle for WKU Senior Brandon Bowman. Studying Corporate Organization and Communication and Public Relations in the Honors College, Bowman took the course Community Approach to Service-Learning that challenged him to make a difference in the Bowling Green community. His group decided to teach English as a Second Language to a Hispanic family in a mobile home community and fell in love with service-learning. Although this was Bowman’s first experience with service-learning, it laid the foundation for his involvement now with The $100 Solution™ and other community and campus endeavors.

Bowman holds the Communications Liaison position on The $100 Solution™ Board of Directors, which is a program that affects communities world-wide by initiating change through the ideas of students who want to make a difference in a community with only $100. He is also involved with Phi Gamma Delta (FIJI), campus ministries, Navitas, and the Alumni Association.

These experiences gave Bowman skills that he will use for years to come both in his personal life and in his future career. He has been given the opportunity to write bylaws, recruit new members and advisors, and assist in creating a strategic development plan.

“Before, community service was good, but now it’s empowering for both parties,” Bowman said. “I’ve learned a lot by helping others learn and my values have been shaped. Mowing a lawn for someone is nice, but when you add meaning, that’s when you learn and grow.”

Bowman believes that service-learning and student engagement are necessary for growth. He shows this through the organizations he is involved in and he strives to “do things well and be hyper-involved, while giving it all you’ve got.”

“Blow service out of the water,” Bowman said in encouragement to students to find and do something that challenges them. He urges students to seek the advice of other people and use all of the resources that college students have available to them, such as passion, time, advisors, and peers. Bowman’s advice to students who have trouble finding their own project is to create a team and brainstorm together.

“Where you are deficient, someone else is more than efficient,” said Bowman. “Mutually beneficial relationships work together to make it happen. They are learning from each as a community.”

To think that only the community is being served is false, according to Bowman. He has experienced the process and realized that being involved in community service is a life change. Bowman discussed how there should be an inspiration of the heart and the utilization of students’ skills.

“When I walk out of college, I want to know that everything I did was worth it,” said Bowman. “I want to know I used my time efficiently. It may have taken a lot of time, physical energy, and resources, but when you pay it forward, someone else will carry it on. It will grow. Inspiration and vision grows exponentially.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: