AU students Jessica Barden and Paul Yoder recently received Student Service Award for services on campus and in the community. The awards were made possible by a grant from the Moore Foundation and Barney II Foundation as well as matching funds directed to the university by President Emeritus Dr. Robert Nicholson. Yoder and Barden were nominated and selected by representatives of the Student Life Department to receive this award because of their involvement in service activities. Each student personally received $750 and also designated a charity of their choice to receive $250.
Jessica Barden has worked as a resident assistant through the Department of Student Life and with AUCME (Anderson University Christian Ministries Experience) while at AU. She has also served in the local community by volunteering as a tutor with Hispanic children at St. Mary’s Catholic School in Anderson.
During her sophomore year, Jessica was honored as an outstanding first-generation student at a banquet entitled “Realizing the Dream,” sponsored by Lilly Endowment, Inc. Made possible by a grant to the Independent Colleges of Indiana from the Lilly Endowment, “Realizing the Dream” recognizes the triumphs of first-generation students in their first year of college.
“I have a heart to serve others,” said Jessica. “I realized this for the first time while on a high school mission trip to Chicago. During this trip I was able to help an elderly Hispanic woman by speaking to her in Spanish. That experience was when God indicated to me that my love of language and service could be joined. My goal is to work with high school students as a professional teacher. When I serve, I take the focus off myself and concentrate on others. In the end, I feel like I was the one who received the blessing.”
Barden, a Spanish Education major, is from Goshen, Indiana.
Paul Yoder has served the community and the AU campus through a weekly skating ministry (building relationships with community kids), Wilson Boys and Girls Club in Anderson, Generation to Generation (a nursing home ministry) and Kidz Bible Club (a mid-week ministry to low income housing developments in the Anderson area). He is also very active through his church, The Mercy House, in Anderson.
Just before his junior year at AU, Paul was a summer intern for Church on the Street, a ministry that provides "church" on the streets of Atlanta by preaching, feeding the poor and distributing clothing to those in need. The organization oversees a staff of several hundred volunteers every week who prepare and serve food, collect and pass out clothing and help in maintaining homeless shelters in Atlanta.
“My parents and my extended family instilled in me a strong sense of service,” said Yoder. “My sensitivity to service became stronger during the summer of 2004 when I interned with Church on the Street in Atlanta. Service is what God calls us to do—it is the manifestation of the Kingdom of God,” adds Yoder. “We are called to help those who can not help themselves. We do not live individually; but rather, in community.”
Paul Yoder, a Bible major, is from Nappanee, Indiana.
Anderson University is a private, Christian, liberal arts institution of approximately 2,800 undergraduate and graduate students. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, the university offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs of study in business, education, nursing and theology.
— Stefanie Leiter is the Web Editor for University Communications.