YSU Honors Students to Participate in Service Project

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Nearly 250 Youngstown State University Honors College students will spend the three-day weekend passing out food and clothing to Youngstown homeless, participating in a poverty simulation and taking part in service and team-building activities at an overnight retreat this Sunday.

This is the second annual retreat for the Honors College, and the first to be partially funded through a $2,661 grant award by Iowa Campus Compact for the MLK Day of Service Community Partnership Project. The grant, which provides funding for MLK Day service projects geared toward alleviating hunger and supporting veterans, will be used toward the service projects of the retreat.

The Honors College was one of 40 recipients.

“Our students will be making scarves, blankets, sleeping mats and cards of encouragement for the homeless, as well as delivering more than 2,000 pounds of canned food to the YSU Student Food Pantry and the Rescue Mission,” said Amy Cossentino, director of the Honors College. “They’ll also be participating in peace marches in Youngstown in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The peace marches will take place 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday on South Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard. They are being organized by R. Mason Carratt, founder of American Food Forest, and include a warm-clothing and soup and sandwich giveaway to needy city residents. Honors students helped to collect donations across campus and in the community for both.

Evening events include additional service projects and a poverty simulation activity hosted by Karla Krodel, director, Metro Credit Education Outreach, and YSU’s Bridges Out of Poverty Student Union.

The service projects — including crocheting plastic bags into water-proof sleeping mats, making scarves and blankets, and crafting cards of encouragement — center on hunger and homelessness awareness in the Mahoning Valley, a longtime focus for YSU Honors College students.

The retreat will conclude with recreational and social activities on campus, and students will spend the night in the Stambaugh Stadium facilities.

A portion of the grant also went toward a campus-wide educational campaign leading up to the retreat, in an effort to collect canned goods to be donated to the YSU Student Food Pantry on campus and the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley as one component to the MLK Day of Service project.

Pictured: Briana Schumacher and Anthony Gresko of Youngstown State University’s Honors College sort a bread donation by Schwebel’s to be used to make sandwiches for the Sunday food giveaway.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.