Haylie Schmoll, a second year student at Otterbein University, is an exceptional scholar, a charismatic campus leader, a change agent, and an inspirational steward of our community. Haylie currently serves as a CardinalCorps Leader on campus, recruiting over 1000 student volunteers each year to serve the needs of our central Ohio community through student service organizations. She also facilitates a leadership program for at-risk teen girls, developing innovative strategies to help girls succeed. In her first year at Otterbein, Haylie founded The Promise House, a student-led volunteer resource center, free café and food pantry to break down socioeconomic barriers to student success. She has hosted student gatherings on campus to identify obstacles under-resourced students face when trying to complete their college journey, and has mobilized a team of peers to address concerns about food insecurity, textbooks, transportation, and other critical barriers to student achievement. Based on her research and food justice training, she is now developing a statewide network of college students ready to work together to break down socioeconomic obstacles in higher education.
People are struggling in our community every day, however many don't see the hurt or aren't willing to get involved. The more I see, the more I want to do!After attending a statewide conference and hearing startling statistics about college food insecurity, I knew I had to take action. I co-founded the Promise House, a student led-initiative combatting socioeconomic barriers to student success through a food pantry and literacy, educational and awareness programs. By mobilizing those who feel they "can't", the Promise House shows power in numbers when students make the promise to help one another. The Promise House showcases how our circumstances are part of our story and only WE can write our chapters; it has grown to service over 200 members, is a model for other institutions and platform for me to advocate statewide, regionally and nationally. I'll create a network of peer institutions joining the fight to help all students succeed.