Two Bridgewater Students Give Back to Local Community

Students For Service Program Offers Funding for Community Service Projects


Ryanne King

(Left to Right) Juniors Jenifer Lantz and Caitlyn Miller were able to learn about teaching techniques for future use thanks to Students for Service.

Katie Baker, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – In 2015, the Morgridge Foundation partnered with Bridgewater College to create the Student Support Foundation. Every year the Morgridge Foundation donates $4,000 to the Student Support Foundation. With that money, the Student Support Foundation is able to provide Bridgewater College students with the financial support they may need.  

Karie Dornon, Professor of Economics and Business, is a co-advisor for the foundation. Dornon stated the Student Support Foundation provides a “helping hand to those students who face financial emergencies.” 

The foundation provides this assistance to students in the way of textbooks, gas money and funding for medicine, among other things. The assistance is granted on the basis of financial need, which is determined by the Office of Financial Aid. 

The Student Support Foundation operates with a board of students. These students are the ones who make the decisions for the foundation. Along with Dornon, Jamie Frueh, Director of the Center for Engaged Learning, is a co-advisor to the foundation. 

This year, Bridgewater College has matched the donation of the Morgridge Foundation. With the additional resources, the Student Support Foundation has developed the Students for Service program as a way to give back. 

Students for Service is a program “awarding grant money to student groups who need financial support to complete service projects,” according to a description on MyBC. Any student group on campus, such as teams and clubs, are eligible to apply for the grant. 

The program was created with the intention of giving back to the community. Dornon stated the extra money will allow the foundation to “expand their reach, because our mission is to help the Bridgewater community.”  

In order to be considered for the grant, the student group must complete an application and email it to Dornon. The application can be found online at MyBC. 

The foundation is hoping to collect as many applications for the grant as possible. On the application the student groups must list the financial needs and benefits of their project. 

The Student Support Foundation will offer this program and grant for as long as there are funds available.  

Dornon mentioned the foundation is “wide open” to a variety of community service project ideas and they “want to see projects that make an impact.” The community service is to be completed locally. When developing ideas for the project, the foundation encourages students to identify a need that has not already been met. 

Dornon expressed the goal for the new program is to get Bridgewater students “engaged in community service.” 

Bridgewater juniors Jenifer Lantz and Caitlyn Miller were awarded the grant and are using the resources to complete their honors project this semester. Lantz and Miller are in the Teacher Education Program and are hoping to become elementary school teachers. For their community service project, they are working at Lacey Springs Elementary School with third and fourth graders. 

Lantz stated they are “giving below grade level students math tutoring with the use of math manipulatives.” A math manipulative is a handheld too used to help students visualize math problems. Lantz and Miller are using the grant money to buy the supplies required to hand-make the tools. 

Lantz and Miller are excited by the impact their community service is having on the children at Lacey Springs. Miller described a conversation with a student who struggles with math; the student said “she’ll do a lot better now that she knows I believe in her.”   

Lantz and Miller both spoke of the excitement the students experience due to the one on one tutoring. Miller stated, “the kids I’ve worked with have been so happy that someone wants to come and spend time with them, even if it’s on math.” 

The Students for Service program has allowed Lantz and Miller to impact the local community and to gain a deeper understanding of current teaching techniques that will aid them in their future careers. Lantz spoke of being very grateful for the Student for Service program and encourages any Bridgewater student considering applying for the grant to “go for it.”