VERMILLION, S.D. -- On Monday, Jan. 20, the University of South Dakota’s Alternative Week of Off-campus Learning (AWOL) program hosted a day of service to honor and celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 75 students, faculty, staff and community members helped at local organizations like the Center for Children and Families, St. Agnes Catholic Church, Vermillion Public Library, Heartland Humane Society, Vucurevich Children’s Center, the Vermillion Fire Station, and the Yankton Boys and Girls Club.
Project highlights included painting walls at the Newman Center and the Vermillion Armory, playing games and socializing with residents at the Assisted Living and Sanford Care Center, assembling activity kits for children at Head Start, sorting recyclable materials at the Recycling Center, preparing and serving food at the Welcome Table, setting up an upcoming exhibit at the Vermillion Area Arts Council, and packing lunches with the Vermillion Backpack Program.
In addition to the day of service on Jan. 20, Dawn Fraser, a humorist, storyteller and national speaker, delivered the keynote address to a campus audience on Tuesday, Jan. 21 as part of the MLK Jr. Day Celebration. Fraser led an interactive presentation, “The Art of Storytelling in Leadership,” where students were introduced to the transformative power of storytelling and learned how it can be used to inspire and motivate others. Students also had an opportunity to tell their own stories and receive feedback on how to shape and mold their stories.