Combining their knowledge of communication and their desire to serve, Saint Mary’s juniors Katrina Mesina and Claire Yancy are competing in a contest to win scholarships as well as a matching donation to an organization of their choice.
The two are entered in the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation’s (NABEF) Collegiate Call to Service. Mesina and Yancy make up one of seven teams declared finalists for the prizes.
Mesina and Yancy worked with the South Bend Center for the Homeless during the Fall 2009 semester in a public communication class.
“Our professor, Terri Russ, heard about the scholarship and really encouraged us to do it,” Mesina said. “We were a little uneasy about it because we felt that we might not fit into the criteria for the competition, but one short phone call to NABEF ensured that we should apply.”
The two have created a program for the Center called “One Hour.” The program was designed to allow women at the Center to practice public speaking skills, as well as to bond and create confidence.
“Next year, we will meet once a week for an hour to discuss topics such as family relationships, women’s history and body image,” Mesina said. “We’ve been meeting with a focus group, staff and professors and students at Saint Mary’s College to ensure that we’ve done the proper research to run a program like this.”
In order to win the scholarship and donation, Mesina said the two have to write a blog about their project with the Center. They were responsible to blog about 45 days of service.
“They will be judging based on our efforts to help our community. In addition, they are judging our creativity and use of media in our blogging,” Mesina said.
Mesina said she and Yancy worked together, though she credits the basic idea for the project to Yancy.
“I owe a great deal to Claire for envisioning this project,” Mesina said. “It was her idea and form there, we’ve really made it blossom. We still have a long way to go, though, and a huge responsibility to the Center.”
Mesina said she enjoys working at the Center.
“I love working at the Center,” she said. “It’s very easy to lose yourself in activities and school, but giving back to the community should always be a priority. The people at the Center are there because they want to make their lives better. It takes courage to want that for yourself and to work for it. It is an honor to be a part of their journey.”