DeAnna Holmes, Benedict College
DeAnna Holmes is a senior English major at Benedict College in Columbia, SC. She exemplifies her major through her active engagement in projects and activities that support youth and adolescent education. She has participated in projects with agencies such as Hannah House, a local transitional home for women and children and the James R. Clark Memorial Sickle Cell Foundation, a non-profit agency serving sickle cell clients and their families in South Carolina. She has also engaged in American Baptist Home Mission Societies Ecumenical Work Week, where groups of college students’ travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, with other people of faith for worship and volunteer work to assist victims of Hurricane Katrina as they rebuild their homes, churches, and communities.
As a Dean’s List Scholar and a member of the College’s Service-Learning and Leadership Development Leadership Institute, she has been instrumental in serving as a role model for her peers. Throughout her matriculation, she has held several leadership positions on campus to include, Chairperson of Sister Act, Junior Class Secretary of the Benedict College Student Government Association, NAACP Honorary Board Member, and Student Representative Candidate of the Benedict College Board of Trustees.
-David Swinton, President and CEO
I began my service experience as an AmeriCorps Member in my freshman year of Benedict College helping low-income families address health and wellness through the promotion of a nutritious diet and exercise. After my term, I continued service through Sister Act, a student-led service-learning outreach initiative that promotes sisterhood and brings awareness to women’s issues. Through my matriculation, I have shared the warmth of feeding the homeless, educating young women on my college campus and in the community about health awareness, sharing the importance of asking questions to gain insight, or just lending a helping hand, and these things have made all the difference in my life. The skills I have gained through service-learning have allowed me to impact the lives of high school students as a college mentor and to experience the joy of interacting with children that suffer from the pain of Sickle Cell Anemia and seeing a smile on their faces. The time I spend serving is incomparable to the feeling I receive after the service is completed.