Eight Towson University students are proving that learning and leading don’t take a vacation.
They spent the summer with the Maryland Public Service Scholars, a program that allows students to gain hands-on experience serving others.
The students participated in one of three tracts – the Governor’s Summer Leadership Program, the Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program or the Maryland Department of Transportation Fellows Program.
The Sondheim program allows students to work full time at a nonprofit organization in Maryland, in addition to attending seminars and workshops. Senior Paul Schuler worked at TU’s Maryland Writing Project, a nonprofit that seeks the most effective ways of teaching writing and using writing as a learning tool.
The experience allowed him to hone his strategic planning and grant-writing skills, as well as gain a new outlook for how to approach obstacles.
“You can apply everything [the program] teaches you to your non-profit,” Schuler explained. “It’s taught me valuable skills in terms of being a nonprofit leader.”
Senior Alaina Farsace spent her summer revamping the drivers’ education curriculum to make it more interactive and relevant to teens, and to improve teaching methods through the Maryland Department of Transportation Fellows Program.
Her work involved surveying driver’s education students and preparing a presentation about how to improve the curriculum.
“My mentor and I have been using [the students’] suggestions to make driver’s education more enjoyable rather than something just to bear or survive,” Farsace noted.
The most rewarding part of the experience, she says, is leaving an impact that will last longer than just this summer.
“If we can make the material more interesting, our hopes are that teens will retain more information thus saving lives,” she said. “I feel as though I am making a positive impact for years to come.”
Other Towson students completing the Maryland Public Service Scholars program are:
- Lily McFeeters, Governor’s Summer Internship Program;
- Kiarra Ceasar, Shoareged Phillpotts and Michella Vanagas, Walter Sondheim Jr. Maryland Nonprofit Leadership Program;
- Niyah Henson and Christopher Snyder, Maryland Department of Transportation Fellows Program.