The Office of Service and Leadership (OSL) was also created to support student initiatives. Participating students gain inspiration and new friendships, while providing valuable service to others. Our goal is to provide our students with the opportunity to attend service trips at least once a semester at no cost.
Several Ashford Clinton campus students will explore poverty, hunger, homelessness, and the gifts and challenges of urban Des Moines, IA with the Office of Service and Leadership as we embark on an “urban plunge” service weekend October 2-5. Students will serve the community at eight different sites over the course of the weekend, offering hope and aid to those in need, leading students to discover how they can use their passion and talents to make a difference in the lives of others.
Our Most Recent Trip
After the campus’ spring semester ended back in May 2014, 22 Ashford students and three staff members packed their bags and headed south to New Orleans. The Ashford volunteers partnered with Youth Rebuilding New Orleans (YRNO), a group that renovates distressed and foreclosed homes around New Orleans. The finished homes are then sold to teachers with the goals of stabilizing neighborhoods and positively impacting the city’s educational system.
“The service trip once again exceeded my expectations. I am overwhelmingly proud of our students and the hard work they put into each of our days of service,” said Audra Adams, Ashford Manager of Service Learning and the Office of Service and Leadership. “The students respected the needs of the New Orleans community and worked to accomplish all they could, while still taking time to appreciate the unique culture of the area.”
During the week-long service trip, the Ashford group worked on sanding, painting, and trimming two area homes. “Partnering with YRNO taught our group so much about the culture, the disaster, and poverty – all in one week’s time,” explained Annie Chezem, an Ashford graduate who was one of the volunteers in New Orleans. “These memories and values are irreplaceable and will help us as students to continue to grow in our personal and professional lives.”
Rebecca Meinema, an Education major at Ashford, agreed. “The service trip to New Orleans was one of the best experiences I have ever had. I am currently studying to be a future educator, so it was such a great feeling to know we were working on future educators’ houses to further the education in the New Orleans community.”
But it wasn’t all work for the volunteers. They took a little time out of their hectic schedules to soak in the culture of one of America’s most unique cities. The Ashford contingent took part in a swamp tour, visited the famed French Quarter, and enjoyed some authentic Cajun cuisine. New Orleans was selected as this year’s destination by the Ashford Student Service Advisory Board.
May 2014 - New Orleans, LA
November 2013 - Washington, IL
September 2013 - Moore, OK
March 2013 - Toms River, NJ
October 2012 - Chicago, IL
March 2012 - Joplin, MO
Audra Adams, MBA
Manager of Service Learning and the Office of Service and Leadership
563.242.4023, ext. 27105