Kelsie Shafer, a junior at Defiance College, has a drive and passion to serve locally, and internationally. Kelsie completes over 150 service-learning hours per year through her work at Defiance College. Kelsie is an active member of the Service Leadership program and the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity. Kelsie’s service includes working with the Independence Education Center, a school for children struggling to make progress in their designated school and participating with student-run organizations that serve both the campus and the community. Kelsie was first named a McMaster Scholar in spring 2019, her community-based research project involved working with a marginalized Hispanic community in Defiance. The focus of the project was to inspire community pride through storytelling. During the 2019-2020 academic year, Kelsie was named an international scholar to Belize through the McMaster School where Kelsie worked with local school officials in rural Belize to create interactive and inclusive history lesson plans with sustainable materials to help meet the needs of all learners. Continuing her work in Belize in 2020-2021, Kelsie was once again named a McMaster scholar. She will create interactive agriculture lesson plans pertaining to common core subjects with sustainable materials for a rural community in Belize.
I first became involved with my community through the Preble county 4-H program. Throughout my ten years in 4-H I volunteered on various projects including working with children’s programming, improving food security, and supporting community initiatives. My passion to serve has become a driving force in my life. Through Defiance College’s Service Leadership program I engage in service-learning within the Defiance community, including tutoring children, raising funds to support breast cancer awareness, and recycling. I have been named a Scholar for the past three years through Defiance College’s the McMaster School for Advancing Humanity, allowing me to complete community-based research projects focused on improving access to education in Belize. In Belize, I worked with primary schools to create interactive, inclusive lesson plans that facilitate the needs of all learners. This is crucial in this country since students of varying abilities are mainstreamed into traditional classrooms. Through all of this work I realize that by using my academic expertise in active collaboration with community partners I am gaining an understanding of the pathways critical to facilitate change - one student, one school, one community at a time.