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Leadership in Trying Times: How One Clarke Class Made A Community Impact

By Clarke News  |  November 23, 2020

During the Fall 2020 semester, Clarke Instructor of Business Management B’Ann Dittmar’s Leadership class met one hundred percent virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this change in course format, Dittmar wanted to find a way to still allow her students the hands-on, interactive classroom experience Clarke is known for.

She and her students decided to develop a class project that focused on creating a fundraiser for an organization of individual students’ choosing. This would allow the students to gain first-hand experience with key leadership concepts while positively impacting an organization they were passionate about.

“I wanted a project that would allow the students ‘do’ something to really help them learn about the components of leadership, including leadership, followership, giving back, perseverance, motivation, working in a team, and trust, to name a few,” said Dittmar. “The students ended up selecting four different charities and each student chose which group they would be in, based on their interests. We have 21 students in the class, and within just two weeks they had raised nearly $1,400.”

Nick Stroschein, one of the students involved in the project, chose to raise money for the Salvation Army based on the organization’s relief efforts in dealing with recent natural disasters. Like most students in the class, he relied on social media as a way to get the word out and encourage friends and family to donate.

“This project meant a lot to me,” shared Stroschein. “It was an honor to raise money for a great organization like the Salvation Army. The project really showed me what it takes to be a leader and how difficult it can be to raise money for these causes. I thought, overall, our group did a fantastic job despite the obstacles associated with COVID.”

In total, the class raised the following funds:

Resources Unite – $800

Salvation Army – $125

Samaritan’s Purse – $75

Toys for Tots – $390

Total: $1390

“Being involved in this project was both fun and impactful,” said student Rashaud Colbert. “Our group chose to raise money for Resources Unite, specifically to upgrade technology for local children. As someone who didn’t have a reliable computer until I started college, I know how much this will help these children. I appreciated this opportunity to be pushed outside my comfort zone and develop myself.”