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Students Honored for Service to Others

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Justice Burkett and Ulrick Meighan receive the Abby and Oramel Hosford Award

Service to others has been a cornerstone of The University of Olivet since its founding in 1844. Students who commit to service are honored with the Abby and Oramel Hosford Awards for Leadership in Individual and Social Responsibility. This year’s recipients, Justice Burkett and Ulrick Meighan, were honored at The University of Olivet’s 180th Founders’ Day celebration in February.

The award is presented to students who devote themselves to service by participating in service trips and impacting the lives of the people in the areas The University of Olivet Department of Service Learning serves.

Rev. Michael Fales, director of service learning and campus ministries and associate professor of interdisciplinary studies, who presents the award annually, said, “Our Service Learning Program is really dedicated to the wishes of The University of Olivet founders who wrote these words: ‘We simply wish to teach our students the divine art and science of doing good to others.’ One hundred eighty years later, we are still trying to fulfill their wishes, all while learning through action and having some fun along the way.”

Justice Burkett

Justice is a junior majoring in psychology and minoring in social work. She is from Bellevue, Michigan.

Q: What inspired you to get involved in community service, and how has your volunteer experience impacted you personally?

“Community service has always been a big part of my life. Growing up, we didn’t have a lot, and people helped us more than you could have imagined, so it feels good to be able to do the same for others. Personally, being able to volunteer and work with this program to help people in need has impacted my life tremendously. I was taught that if you have the ability to help others, do your absolute best to help in any way you can, and this program has helped me do that.”

Q: How do you believe your volunteer work has made a difference in the community, and what specific moments or projects have been significant to you?

“I have been lucky enough to have the chance to go to many places through this program and help people. Whether right here in Michigan or all the way down in Mississippi, it is always nice to be able to see the smiles and the joy our help brings. A few of my favorite interactions have been being able to talk to a man in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, about how much he appreciated that we spent our spring break helping him get a new roof instead of partying. We also helped the staff at a food pantry shop and distribute goods to the homeless community of Biloxi, Mississippi.”

Rev. Fales said of Justice, “She has been very active in our program over the years, which is especially significant as she is a full-time student, an active member of Alpha E, and has a full-time job as a local retail farm supply store manager. I am constantly amazed by her work effort and her promotion of our program to others.”

Ulrick Meighan 

Ulrick is an international student from Belmopan City, Belize. He is a business administration and management major and will graduate this May.

Q: What inspired you to get involved in community service, and how has your volunteer experience impacted you personally?

“Community service is something I’ve always done from a young age. Being from Belize, I have had the opportunity to work with missionaries from all over the U.S. It is always amazing to meet and work with people from different backgrounds who share the same vision of helping people and making the world a better place. Being able to do this has made me into a more selfless individual; it made me realize the little we do for someone can have a major impact on their life. It builds a fun spirit in you and shapes you into a one-of-a-kind person.”

Q: How do you believe your volunteer work has made a difference in the community, and what specific moments or projects have been significant to you?

“We keep getting more and more invites to the same places to do different tasks. At the end of every project, and even during the work time, we can see smiles on people’s faces. The most meaningful moment for me was in Biloxi, Mississippi. We were able to remodel an elderly woman’s home, and somehow, we got the local news to show up, and I had the opportunity to represent our school and share what our objectives were.”

Rev. Fales said of Ulrick,He has volunteered on most of our monthly trips. He is an international student from Belize who has certainly stepped outside this comfort zone by moving 2,000 miles away to a school where the language, culture, food, and weather are very different from his home country. Ulrick always has a positive attitude and makes friends on every trip we take, both with students and locals.

 

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at admissions@UOlivet.edu or 269-749-7635.

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