Making a difference doesn’t come easy, but for students in the Difference Maker program, the work is worth it.
The Difference Maker program is a service-based honors program for students that are heavily involved in the community. Carrie Jacobs is the director of the program, and community service coordinator at Olivet.
Those involved in the program have invested themselves into giving back to the community by participating in service trips that the college offers. These students also do community service on their own time, according to Jacobs.
Recently, the program has decided to reward scholarships up to $2,000 to incoming students that are involved in community service. The scholarship is only available for incoming freshmen and transfer students, but everyone is welcome to be a Difference Maker.
According to the application, eligible students must respond to a three-part prompt with a short essay, a three to five minute video, or another creative outlet. Students must also be enrolled full-time, have a 3.0 GPA , run service project for spring and fall Service Days, and complete 25 hours of community service a semester. That being said, students do not have to have a specific amount of service hours to apply for the scholarship. "I’d hate to say you need a certain amount of hours (to apply)," Jacobs said. "As long as they show a passion, I’ll consider the student." According to the Olivet College website, in addition to giving back to the community, the program will meet regularly so that students can build skills like team work, time management, and problem solving.
Tatum Oxford, freshman, is one of the recipients of the scholarship this year. In an e-mail she said, "Personally, I plan to dedicate my 25 hours or more of service to the Humane Society. I have a heart for helping others, plus who doesn’t adore animals?" Next semester, she also plans to devote her time to a mental health organization. "Everyone has mental health; everyone is touched by their own state of wellbeing. Education, awareness, and support should always be available to anyone in need," said Oxford.
The Difference Makers program will be hosting a visiting day for potential incoming students on Nov. 13, according to Jacobs. To learn more about the program, Contact Jacobs, community service coordinator, at her college email, CJacobs@olivetcollege.edu.