By Kelsi Williamson, Student Reporter
The Volunteer and Service-Learning Center (VSLC) and the Service Action Leadership Team (SALT) will celebrate its 10 years of community involvement and service at an honorary breakfast Saturday. A reunion for former SALT members, the breakfast also will present certificates of appreciation for 10 of the VSLC’s servicelearning partners in the Abilene area, after a short address by ACU President Dr. Royce Money.
“Student leadership is such an integral part of ACU,” said Nancy Coburn, director of the VSLC. “It just seemed to make sense to celebrate the landmark.”
The VSLC began 10 years ago in order to provide an office to coordinate ACU student involvement in the Abilene community, Coburn said. Over the years, the center has acted as the connecting point between the needs of community agencies and students looking to serve.
“Students have learned this is where you come to find out about service opportunities,” Coburn said. She said many local nonprofits do not have the staff to handle their workload.
“Students ease the load, fill the gap and are the hands and feet of different agencies,” Coburn said.
These students, such as SALT administrator Katherine Lewis, rely on the VSLC for serving opportunities.
“SALT has been one of the main contributors in helping me to live a servant lifestyle,” said Lewis, junior social work major from Wichita, Kans.
The VSLC also has played an integral part in developing ACU’s servicelearning program as a part of the university’s mission “to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.”
“ACU needs the VSLC because service is so much a part of ACU’s mission,” said Sarah Frazier, senior social work major from Bristow, Okla.
With the help of the VSLC, service-learning classes are able to connect learning objectives with service objectives, Coburn said.
Saturday’s celebration will recognize many of the VSLC and SALT’s achievements through a visual timeline of major milestones, photographs of past service events and brief comments and presentations by former and current SALT members.
Several neighbors from the community involved in SALT’s Neighbor for Neighbor program also will be present.
“I am excited to meet the people who were shaped and molded by this organization throughout the past 10 years,” Lewis said.