Spring Hill College’s hub for community- and service-learning experiences, the Albert S. Foley, SJ Community Service Center, recently released their annual report which contains information regarding the outcomes of the Center and the students, as well as faculty and staff, who volunteer locally through the Center’s partnerships.
In the 2018-19 academic year, 619 Spring Hill students completed nearly 24,000 community service hours locally to 73 community partners. Representing 49 percent of the student population, the volunteers who provided those service hours delivered an economic impact of more than $540,000 to the Mobile area.
Kayla Dumas ’20, said serving creates a positive cycle of influence. “If I can positively affect someone, that one person can then positively affect someone else. All of the positive influences can make a difference in the world.”
Primary activities of the Foley Center include after-school tutoring, co-sponsored with Wilmer Hall, during which 67 Spring Hill students impacted more than 300 local middle and high school students. Over 30 student leaders taught English as a Second Language (ESL) to 127 adults on five levels of language comprehension. The ESL program also included babysitters for young children of those enrolled in the classes. Many Foley Center students participated in Fellowships of Civic Leadership, non-profit internships and pre-service trainings and reflection meetings.
"Service has helped keep me grounded during my time at Spring Hill,” reflected Anton Jones ’19. “It allows me the opportunity to see and do something about the inequalities in the world, but my service also helps me grow closer to the person God has called me to be."
Nine departments of the College teach one or more service-learning and community-engaged course for a total of 16 courses. In total, 334 Spring Hill students are enrolled in these courses.
“The goals of the Foley Center are to support the formation of students as leaders of justice and service through direct and sustained service, to assist faculty with integrating service learning into their courses and to optimize support for local non-profit service providers,” said Erik Goldschmidt, PhD, Director of the Center. “We are here to meet people on the margins. Their education will enlighten us in the Jesuit mission.”
“People are our textbooks” was a favorite and frequent phrase heard from Rev. Albert S. Foley, SJ, who positively altered Spring Hill College history from the time he first arrived on campus in the late 1930s. The Foley Community Service Center, which bears his name, has been coordinating social justice outreach and community service in the Mobile area community for more than 25 years.