The goal of the university is to educate and to help us reach our goals. But if you're struggling for something as basic as food, you can't put that focus on the education and the reasons why you're here.
-Rachel Smith, junior international studies major and director of the pantry
Carolinians care for one another. That's a key tenet of the Carolinian Creed. We believe giving back should be at the heart of any experience, and it starts on campus. Student organizations, university departments, academic units, service-learning classes and campus partners contribute to both university- and student-led initiatives.
You can't imagine how it feels when the students present their work, and the jaws drop on every mouth in the room. The students look around; they're exhausted, and they're surprised at what they and the other volunteers have accomplished. The clients are just flabbergasted.
-Scott Farrand, instructor Journalism and Mass Communications
By emphasizing hands-on tasks that address real-world concerns, service learning is a critical component of the curriculum at UofSC. It also adds to classroom experiences by raising questions and providing opportunities to discuss these concerns in depth. In 2013-2014, 87 courses in 22 departments provided service-learning opportunities, including the second annual CreateAthon@USC, organized by the School of Journalism and Mass Communications.
Give Kids the World, in Kissimmee, Fla., provides children who have life-threatening illnesses and their families joyful, cost-free visits to central Florida attractions. Carolina students worked with the program on a winter 2014 Alternative Breaks trip, connecting with children and families through resort operations, entertainment programs and special projects that ensured each family had a wonderful time.
Through alternative break trips, students have visited six states in the last year, highlighting service in areas including poverty, health, children and the environment. See snapshots from several of the 2014 trips.
The impact of service at UofSC reaches beyond South Carolina. By offering community service programs that start both within and beyond the classroom, we prepare students for a lifetime of community leadership and responsible citizenry. The Alternative Breaks program includes community service-learning trips during the university's fall, winter and spring breaks. Student-led teams travel locally and nationally, and they gain new perspectives on social issues while meeting community needs.
The Timmy Global Health University of South Carolina Chapter is on a mission to provide sustainable health care to local villages of the Amazon. Our students share a propensity to advocate for, heal and educate people in need as well as those who can help them.
UofSC students, faculty and staff know that creating a better world through service has no boundaries. International service opportunities abound at UofSC, from the Thinking Globally program, which brings global service to our community with international student ambassadors who share the world with classrooms throughout Columbia, to the Dobson Global Volunteer Service Program, designed for students and faculty who want to make a positive difference in the world and help people in need.