Foundation Scholars and Living Leadership students plan service projects


Students from the first-year cohorts of the Foundation Scholars and Living Leadership Program are taking their work to support the Midland, Saginaw and Bay City communities this winter.

As part of the two groups’ Sociology 111 class, they develop, propose and execute service projects that will be completed with four different non-profits. This year, they are calling on other SVSU students to make an even greater impact to the community.

“This is my sixth year working with students on their projects,” said Joni Boye-Beaman, the professor of the sociology class. “I am amazed by the commitment and enthusiasm for service students bring to the course. The goods and services students provide for the community make real and lasting differences for local organizations and clients they serve.”

One of these projects will be bringing a Hunger Gains 5K Run and Walk to SVSU’s campus on Sunday, April 22, to benefit Old Town Christian Outreach Center in Saginaw.

“We decided to do this event because we value the importance of physical health and desire to provide the community with nutritional information as well as resources to benefit individuals physically,” said athletic training major Hannah Balbaugh. “We hope that we can enlighten the community of how important this is, as well as getting our fellow students to help support a great cause.”

Students and community members can help with this event in a variety of ways, including volunteering at the event, participating in the race and donating toiletries and non-perishable food to the outreach center.

Registration is currently open for the Hunger Gains 5K, and students can register online at

Balbaugh also added that the first 150 participants will get a free t-shirt. They are also looking for nearly 20 volunteers.

Another group is taking their efforts to HealthSource Behavioral Medicine Center in Saginaw, an inpatient unit for restoring adolescent and adult mental health. By working with the unit’s community education manager, they are providing calming sensory products for an adolescent de-escalation room. This room is used for patients that experience periods of high stress and anxiety.

“I have grown up around multiple individuals that have experienced mental illness and disorders, so I thought it would be beneficial to utilize my past experiences to help this community,” said social work major Brianna Windiate. “We hope to create a more comfortable and productive atmosphere that will benefit both the patients and the overall facility, as well as their overall mental health recovery process.”

A group will also combat the low adoption rates of animals in the Bay County Animal Shelter and Care Center in Bay City. The group will make adoption boxes for large dogs, small dogs and cats to give to adopters as they first adopt. This will help to ease the transition of bringing a shelter pet into the household.

“We were drawn to centering our project around animals and selecting the animal shelter as the organization we wished to work with because we each have a love for animals,” said Bryanna Walla, an Elementary Education major. “We hope to inspire (MJ Brandimore House) residents and other students to join us for a great cause while we put the boxes together on Thursday, April 12, at 5 p.m.”

Lastly, students are working with Covenant Cancer Care Center by donating PaintFest canvases and hope scarves to cancer patients. The canvases, after they are painted by patients, caregivers and students on April 13, will be hung up in the Care Center. The scarves will be given to cancer patients to cover their heads after they lose their hair during treatment. Each scarf will contain a special note that encourages each patient to continue fighting in their cancer battle.

“We hope to leave an impact on every cancer patient that walks through Covenant’s doors and show them that there is always hope and a better tomorrow,” said business major Sydney Phillips.

The group is also calling for their fellow SVSU students come to their event on April 13, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. in the Thompson Student Activities Room (TSAR). Participants can paint a canvas, spend time with cancer patients and receive a free t-shirt to commemorate the event.

“Students’ lives are also forever changed when reflecting on what they have learned about themselves and their community as a result of their good work,” Boye-Beaman said. “I could not be prouder of the work they accomplish each semester. If these students represent our future, we are in good hands.”

Students interested in participating in any of these events can contact Joni Boye-Beaman at