Missouri S&T is challenging universities across the country to impact communities through service while practicing social distancing. The National Active Citizen Competition is a way for college students to make positive impacts all over the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Approximately 70 Missouri S&T students had originally planned to travel to several locations across the United States during their spring break and volunteer to better communities as part of the Miner Challenge alternative break program, but the spread of COVID-19 canceled those plans.
Now, new plans are in the works to continue Miner Challenge by taking on local service work at students’ individual locations while distance learning through the university. Missouri S&T’s Miner Challenge coordinators are challenging universities across the country to do the same.
The competition will begin Monday, March 30, with students planning their own service projects that can be done from home or with limited contact and still make a positive impact on communities. Possible ideas could include sewing masks or 3-D printing parts for local health care organizations in need, fostering an animal from a local shelter or volunteering to deliver groceries to an elderly neighbor, all while following current social distancing best practices.
During a normal spring semester, Missouri S&T’s Miner Challenge is a week-long alternative break program that gives students a chance to help individuals and communities affected by issues like poverty, homelessness, a lack of access to education, and natural disasters, while developing their own leadership skills. This is the 13th year of the program.
“We will show our communities that we want to give back, even though we weren’t able to give back through alternative break trips,” says Jessica Haywood, program administrator in student involvement at S&T and the Miner Challenge advisor. “Let’s see how much time, money or items we can donate and what impact we can make over the next month — we can win the competition.”
Joining Missouri S&T in this competition so far are Baldwin Wallace University, Central Michigan University, Franklin and Marshall College, Georgia Southern University, Missouri State University, and Nazareth College. Haywood says she is working to get more colleges and universities to join the competition. Interested higher education institutions can contact her at email@example.com.
For more information about Missouri S&T’s Miner Challenge, visit involvement.mst.edu/minerchallenge.