BGSU students give back for Martin Luther King Jr. Day PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Tuesday, 22 January 2013 10:20
Adam Coldren (left) leads a girl on a horse at Project H.O.P.E during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. (Photo: Shane Hughes/Sentinel-Tribune)
Instead of curling up on the couch and catching up on TV shows Monday, a group of BGSU students chose to rough the cold temperatures and give back to the community through the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Challenge.
A group of about a dozen BGSU students, ranging from telecommunications to finance and environmental policy majors, volunteered their time to help clean stalls, brush horses and spruce up tack at Project H.O.P.E. on Poe Road. Project H.O.P.E. is a non-profit organization that provides equine assisted therapies to people ranging in age from 3 to 60.
Henry Wilkes, a sophomore digital arts major from Chardon, said he decided to volunteer his time along with some of his fraternity brothers.
"I just wanted to branch out and try something new," he said.
Another volunteer, Adam Coldren, a senior history and Asian studies double-major from Waynesburg, Pa., has participated in the Day of Service Challenge for several years.
"This is the best thing I could have done today," Coldren said. "I love animals."
While on location, students also got to see a demonstration of the riding program and meet the horses.
Sandra Tebbe, director of Project H.O.P.E., said she hopes students take away something from the experience.
"I am hopeful they will see what an incredible connection people have with horses and how valuable that relationship can be," Tebbe said.
Last year, Project H.O.P.E. served more than 1,400 children and families.
"Most of the people who come here have been in therapy three or four times and it hasn't worked," Tebbe explained to the students.
The organization is heavily dependent on volunteers, both from the community and BGSU.
Students in two of Dr. Lara Martin Lengel's communication classes are among the BGSU student volunteers.
Her environmental communication students will be developing a plan for manure disposal and will also conduct community outreach for the organization.
Working with Project H.O.P.E provides her students with practical experience, a sense of engagement with the community and broader learning about sustainability, Lengel said.
"I think more and more companies are putting greater emphasis on sustainability initiatives." Such experience will benefit her students when applying for jobs, she said.

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