MHS scholars take action

Bulldog Scholars in Action members, front row, from left are seniors Frances Pope, Nyasha Dukes, and junior Emma Jones, and back row from left, seniors Dylan Sanders and Cebastian Cardozo. (Contributed)

Bulldog Scholars in Action members, front row, from left are seniors Frances Pope, Nyasha Dukes, and junior Emma Jones, and back row from left, seniors Dylan Sanders and Cebastian Cardozo. (Contributed)

By MICHELLE ADAMS / Community Columnist
Dependability, flexibility and appreciation of diversity: These are the attributes of Montevallo High School’s Bulldog Scholars in Action.
Comprised of five upperclassmen, these scholars were chosen in August, committing to serve one year in a community agency providing support services.
Based on the Falcons in Action program at the University of Montevallo, program director Tricia McMullen saw an opportunity for MHS students to be more involved in service learning and community engagement.
“Each student is partnered with one agency and commits five hours of service per week,” McMullen said.  “In exchange, each student will receive a $1000 scholarship to the University of Montevallo.”
Junior Emma Jones and seniors Cebastian Cardozo, Nyasha Dukes, Frances Pope and Dylan Sanders are this year’s Bulldog Scholars in Action, working with the Parnell Memorial Library, St. Andrew’s Clothing Ministry and Blueprints College Access Initiative.
“I am working with Blueprints,” Sanders said.  “Through Blueprints, I work with MHS students to promote and assist with the college application process, guiding students on how to be best prepared for that process.”
Participants meet each week in interview sessions to discuss their weekly assignments and service hours.
“The workforce in the United States is changing,” McMullen said. “More often than not, jobs require some higher education, but what makes the biggest difference in obtaining a career is experience.  Service learning enriches a student’s entire educational experience.  It shows students why what they’re learning in school is so important.”
Sanders, also involved with Peacemakers, Mu Alpha Theta, Future Educators Association and Upward Bound, finds immense value in community service.
“Working with Blueprints makes sense because I want to be a teacher,” Sanders said. “Through this opportunity I am already learning leadership skills and learning how to effectively interact with students.  Community service is a part of my life.  I believe that we are not just living in the world, but we are morally obligated to be a part of the world.  To participate even more in service through Bulldog Scholars in Action is a welcome opportunity for me.”
This is the program’s first year, with hopeful intentions to make the opportunity available to more students and agencies in Montevallo, as well as throughout the county.