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- December 2004 /
Student Action Group at BPC's Liberty County
Campus Extends to Community
By Terry Gaston
BPC Public Relations
When Dr. Susan Kinsella joined Brewton-Parker College's
Liberty County campus at Hinesville in 2002, she said she
wanted to form a student organization that focused on community
service work while uniting the campus' largely non-traditional
enrollment through such extracurricular activities.
|Brewton-Parker College students Amy Knight (left) and
Alvin Judge (right), both of Hinesville, and Dr. Susan
Kinsella (second left), associate professor of sociology
and human services, organize gifts under the Liberty
County campus Student Action Group's Angel Tree, a project
that will benefit children under three agencies in Liberty
County this holiday season. (Photo by Terry Gaston)
This fall, the Student Action Group (SAG) founded by Kinsella
-- an associate professor of sociology and human services
at the Liberty County campus -- has a core group of 10 students
that has focused its activities on helping those in need
in Liberty County.
"This year's group has really taken grasp of the projects
that we have performed on what is becoming an annual basis," said
Kinsella, who added that the SAG is open to any student attending
classes at the Liberty County campus.
For the Christmas season, SAG members established an Angel
Tree in the center's student lounge, from which students
could select names of needy youngsters as supplied through
three agencies and purchase new, wrapped gifts for distribution
The benefiting agencies are Liberty County's Department
of Family and Children; Tri-County Protective Agency, for
children in both the outreach program and the shelter; and
Gabrielle House, a group home for abused children in Hinesville.
In November, SAG members donated non-perishable food items
to the Manna House, a food distribution center for needy
families from the Hinesville area. Students in the group
also donated food and desserts for Thanksgiving dinner for
women and children staying at the Tri-County Shelter.
The SAG also had two projects in October. Members collected
and donated $200 to the American Heart Association Walk in
Liberty County, with a $150 Mile Marker placed to honor Mike
Patti, who is in charge of the Brewton-Parker Liberty County
campus' maintenance and security. About 17 walkers from the
Brewton-Parker campus participated in the event.
Also in October, the SAG donated candy gift bags to the
Tri-County Protective Agency.
"I have made deliveries of many of our donated items,
and I enjoy seeing everyone's faces and that they are really
grateful," said Amy Knight, a junior from Hinesville
who is one of the group's co-presidents. "I love being
a part of the Student Action Group and like helping other
Karen Ortiz, a junior from Miami, Fla., joins Knight, who
is originally from South Carolina, as the other co-president
this year. Donna Romain of Hinesville is a graduating senior
and the SAG secretary, and Alvin Judge, a junior from Hinesville,
is the group's treasurer.
Judge brought to the SAG many of the volunteer aspects he
experienced during a 30-year military career from which he
retired in 2002.
"As a battalion sergeant major, during the holiday
period I would organize many activities and make sure we
could support Toys for Tots, making Christmas and Thanksgiving
baskets, and food collections and distributions," Judge
"Once I found the
Student Action Group, I found its activities right up my
alley. There is definitely a fulfillment,
any time and any day, to make sure folks get what they need."
Knight said the SAG hopes
to do more one-on-one activities during the spring semester,
such as visiting nursing home
residents. "I just enjoy working with different people
and helping out others," she said.
Kinsella also has presented the concept of the Student Action
Group as an example at the National Organization for Human
Service Education's national conference in Nashville, Tenn.,
during the fall 2003 semester.
"This is based on what is called the service learning
model, when you put into practice what students learn in
the classroom and allow them to go out into community and
work with community agencies," Kinsella said. "It
was very well received, and a lot of schools were interested
in the model and wanted to start a Student Action Group also."
"Wherever BPC students gather to pursue their higher
educations, they inevitably survey the local community to
determine how they can invest their time and talents to bring
improvement, quality and hope to others," said Dr. David
R. Smith, Brewton-Parker's president. "These students
at our Liberty County campus have achieved a variety of such
community service projects through their Student Action Group."