Service-learning students present DARE awareness to 9th-graders, develop community connections
Five students in Cristina Budzynski’s Global Citizenship class at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud designed curriculum, called “Dare to Be Different,” and as an advocacy service-learning project that they presented to ninth-graders at St. Cloud Technical High School and Eden Valley-Watkins High School. The students felt the traditional DARE curriculum presented in elementary schools was not tailored enough for high school students.
“We wanted to [work with] ninth-graders because that’s when kids are starting to experiment with drugs and alcohol the most,” said student Tara Thielen.
The Minnesota School of Business students contacted Deputy Gina Feldewerd of the Stearns County Sheriff’s department, discussed the project and received valuable resources.
The team delivered an interactive curriculum and PowerPoint presentation on the facts of youth and substance abuse. In addition, they invited a local businessman and recovering alcoholic and addict to share his experiences. Students at both high schools gave positive feedback.
Throughout the project, Minnesota School of Business students made direct connections to their Global Citizenship course objectives. Student Stefanie Hicks said the service-learning project gave her group, “a sense of accountability. Our group became a little community, and we all had a role.
Student J.J. McGeath added that “[Global Citizenship] helps you learn. It makes a difference for yourself and the community.”
All group members agreed that the relationships they made with each other outside the classroom were surprising benefits of the project. “This project gave us more than an [educational] experience,” summarized Mikayla Pehan. “It gave us something even better—friendship.”