River Run Service Learning Helps Student Plan for Future

Posted by on June 4, 2012

YMCA River Run Bike Event in St. Cloud

Students in Courtney Vorell’s Global Citizenship class at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud partnered with the local YMCA to promote the River Ride Bike Event in St. Cloud. The event was a fundraiser for both the YMCA and an advocacy project for the Lake Wobegon Trail.

The River Ride is a 10 mile bike event which promotes family fitness and helps raise money for the Wobegon Trail to be extended from St. Cloud to St. Joseph. The event attracted over 200 riders of all ages this year.

Stephen Westby is a veteran, soon-to-be father and full-time student at Minnesota School of Business who learned a lot from the experience and took away lessons for his future while he was at it.

“The best part for me was seeing all the bikers in line for the 10 mile ride along the river and through the city,” Westby said. “During the ride I was positioned on top of a large hill directing traffic and guiding bikers on where to go. Watching these bikers getting up the hill was great to see.”

The greatest challenge was when not all the workers showed up. “I had to move from intersection to intersection to help guide bikers so they would not get lost. We did not have a sign up either, which made it difficult when I was not able to get to the intersections when some bikers made it there first.”

Yet Westby saw the experience as a rewarding one in many respects, including its application to his future.

“I would like to be a Conservation Officer after I am done with school and . . . working on this project I was able to make some good contacts. I met a few different people that will be able to help me out with some other volunteer options and met a great contact at the YMCA which is willing to help me out with future class projects. Overall I thought the River Ride went very well and look forward to helping out next year’s ride!”

In Westby’s case, the course objective to “practice active citizenship and social responsibility through community engagement” became a stepping stone toward his life goals.

Stephen Westby (sunglasses and hat) and Fellow River Run Workers

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