Students decided a $500 grant for a local nonprofit as part of a class project in a special section of English 1301 at Lone Star College-Montgomery.
Each year, Professor Melissa Dennis assigns her students to research and identify the needs of five local nonprofit organizations. Students then write a formal proposal and make a presentation.
Student Tre Richardson worked with Children’s Safe Harbor. Their team of community and professional agencies are united to reduce the trauma of abused children by facilitating a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to intervention, investigation, prosecution and treatment.
“We provided first-person research, we actually got involved with the organization, conducted interviews and wrote original source material,” said Richardson. “Before this class I did not know how to do any of that. This class made me a better writer and researcher.”
Student Geminnis Zuniga worked with The Phoenix Charity, which helps remove tattoos from human trafficking victims that bind them to a past of slavery and violence.
“I used to dread English class, having to read and write about things I was not interested in like Shakespeare and ‘The Odyssey,’” said Zuniga. “In professor Dennis’ class we are able to read, learn and write about something that we became passionate about. When you have the freedom to learn about something you are excited about, you can write and write and you learn so many different things.”
The students presented their proposals to a faculty panel and Children’s Safe Harbor won the $500 grant.
“I personally think Children’s Safe Harbor are changing our world little by little,” said student Stephany Ardon who worked with the charity.
“This grant impacts the lives of children in more ways than anyone can imagine,” said Amayramy Risney former Bilingual Family Advocate at Children’s Safe Harbor. “As a nonprofit organization, Children’s Safe Harbor tries to take the burdens off families, as well as the children, who have been impacted by horrendous crimes. We are so thankful for LSC-Montgomery students’ hard work on this project. Because of this grant, Children’s Safe Harbor is able to continue providing its free services.”
“This class is a win-win-win,” said Dennis. “The college benefits because students are getting real-world experience, the community benefits because a nonprofit project is getting funding, plus as a teacher, I feel encouraged to try new things to find new ways to reach students.”
Dennis secured the funding for the grant from LSC-Montgomery’s Undergraduate Research Institute (URI).
“This class would not have been offered without the support of LSC-Montgomery’s URI,” Dennis said. “There is always room to grow, I would love to get local businesses to match our funding so we can award grants to all five participating nonprofits.”
Nonprofits interested in being considered for this class or businesses looking to donate funding can contact professor Missy Dennis at Melissa.H.Dennis@lonestar.edu.
This section of English 1301 will be offered again in the fall 2018 semester.
Lone Star College offers high-quality, low-cost academic transfer and career training education to 99,000 students each semester. LSC is training tomorrow’s workforce today and redefining the community college experience to support student success. Stephen C. Head, Ph.D., serves as chancellor of LSC, the largest institution of higher education in the Houston area with an annual economic impact of $3.1 billion. LSC consists of six colleges, eight centers, two university centers, Lone Star Corporate College and LSC-Online. To learn more, visit LoneStar.edu.