Seven teams of students from the College of Nursing won scholarship awards for their poster presentations at the UCF Service-Learning Student Showcase held recently.

At the annual event, hosted by Experiential Learning at UCF, students across the university present projects that bring value to the community and foster civic responsibility.

“In nursing, we talk about caring and empowering members of the community through health promotion and education,” said Donna A. Breit, instructor for the Community Nursing Coalition> for the Downtown/Parramore area of Orlando. “These students are doing exactly that and making a positive impact.”

“These awards validate their efforts and make the important work that they are doing in the community more visible.”

The team of Kelsey Dobes and Natasha Poveromo, who graduate May 5, received the top honor with The John Hitt C. Service Learning Award for Best Overall Service Learning Project and a $1,000 scholarship.

For their project with Lila Mitchell Headstart, Dobes and Poveromo taught five wellness lessons to 80 low-income preschool children and their parents. The project sought to introduce important lessons early at the preschool level to help students succeed in elementary school the following year. Lessons were on fire safety, healthy nutrition, stranger danger, bullying and hygiene, and each included an interactive activity and parent lessons to reinforce learning objectives in the classroom and at home.

“It is an incredible honor to receive an award for something I loved doing and that helped the community,” said Poveromo. “It is a reminder that I am capable of teaching others the necessary materials that can keep them happy and healthy throughout their life.”

The other teams of nursing students honored at this year’s Service-Learning Student Showcase are:

  • $400 Scholarship Award Winners
  • Capacity Building Award – Nicole Galindez Rodriguez, Lina Navas, Hailey Samuels: The Women’s Conference
  • Literacy Engagement Award – Kassidy Mills and Hannah Stein: Boys & Girls Club Hughes Branch “Changing Bodies”
  • Youth Development Award – Rachel Ohman and Karina Gutierrez: Boys and Girls Club Hughes Branch
  • Significant Impact Award – Brittany Baxter, Liz Guzman, Tersy Jean Louis: Shepherd’s Hope Spoken Message
  • $200 Scholarship Award Winners
  • Pedagogical Value Award – Victoria Kruger, Jasminh Flanagan, Caylee Schultz, Lauren Micalizio: Hygiene Helpers
  • Value to Agency & Community Award – Eliany Torrez Pon, Kimberly Bogers, Alicia Jagprashad: Making a Difference at the YMCA
  • The annual Service-Learning Student Showcase awards more than $10,000 in scholarships. Students present their projects to scholarship committee members and the general public.

    Service-learning is an important teaching strategy at UCF, supporting the university’s commitment to harness the power of scale to transform lives around the world. The teaching method integrates meaningful community service with academic course objectives and allows time for reflection to transform experiences into learning.

    For more than a decade, students from the College of Nursing have positively impacted lives through service-learning in the form of community-based curriculum. Through the 17 Community Nursing Coalitions in five Central Florida counties, students provide more than 30,000 hours of service annually to some of the region’s most economically disadvantaged residents.