The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) honored Presbyterian College with a place on the 2014 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in the Education category for its support of volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
This is the third consecutive year that PC has received this honor and the fourth time in the last five years. PC students volunteered more than 30,000 hours last academic year (2014-2015) through academic service-learning or other community service.
The Community Service Honor Roll is the highest federal recognition a school can achieve for its commitment to service-learning and civic engagement. Honorees were chosen based on a series of selection factors, including the scope and innovation of service projects, the extent to which service-learning is embedded in the curriculum, the school’s commitment to long-term campus-community partnerships, and measurable community outcomes as a result of the service.
A majority of the student volunteer hours at PC are done through the College’s Student Volunteer Services (SVS) program, which falls under PC’s Office of Religious Life and Service. Since its founding in the mid-1960s, SVS has been regarded as one of the signature ministries at PC. The student-run organization provides a variety of more than a dozen different volunteering opportunities, both locally and through nationwide initiatives.
“It is a privilege to live, work, and study here,” said The Rev. Rachel Parsons-Wells, director of the Office of Religious Life and Service. “I think our students recognize that, so they ask themselves, ‘how do we take these resources we’ve been given and share them in the community in which we live?’ Most students at PC don’t do service to get recognized, most are doing it as a part of their life.”
Parsons-Wells continued, “We encourage students to volunteer as a part of meaning-making – that’s to say that we want them to be intentional about what gives them meaning in their life, and to put their faith into action. This is grounding for students. Life is long, and service to others now is preparing them to have a bigger perspective on life.”
A sampling of local organizations that benefit from PC student volunteers include: Bailey Manor/Laurens Memorial, Habitat for Humanity, Laurens Safe Home/PC Against Violence Against Women, Presbyterian Communities, Project Hope, Thornwell Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Thornwell Recreation.
The students also participate in several national annual and bi-annual events, including Delete Blood Cancer, MLK Service Day, Operation Christmas Child, Relay for Life, and Special Olympics.
Visit www.NationalService.gov for more information about the Honor Roll and a complete list of recipients.
Contact Parsons-Wells at 864-833-7000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information about service at PC.