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2022 Service-Learning Symposium: Protecting Homeless and Runaway Youth

Protecting Homeless and Runaway Youth

Authors: Julia Wiggins

Faculty Supervisor: Jessica Melilli-Hand, Ph.D., MFA

Community Partner: Safe Harbor’s Street Beat Program

Abstract:

The community partner I worked with is the Street Beat Program, which is a local safe haven where youth can escape abuse, torment, and neglect. My project included creating a system to support/make identification cards for youth that come through programs such as Safe Harbor. Throughout Glynn and the surrounding counties, homeless and runaway youth float through shelters. When they appear in a place like the Street Beat Program, they are put into the data entry system which runs throughout Southeast Georgia. The obvious benefits these cards could create would be not only benefits directly to youth, but to the people helping them. There are already multiple benefits of these cards, but we have only scratched the surface. On top of this, I created a visual argument flyer focused on this topic and distributed it on campus to encourage others to volunteer as well. This service-learning project helped me to realize how many kids are at risk. Through volunteering and raising awareness within the community, you can make a huge difference. Completing services through class with guided academic knowledge helps you appreciate what you’re doing as well as perform at the best of your abilities. This experience provided me with argumentative thinking skills, taught me to conduct hands on research, and helped with credibility throughout my paper.