Student Projects and Papers

The following examples of final projects and papers will provide insight into the range of ideas and opportunities that past students have pursued.

The following final papers show the variety of service learning projects and organizations past students have encountered. None of these papers has been edited or corrected. They reveal the wide variety of projects students have undertaken and also the challenges and deep satisfaction that have often followed.

Exemplary Final Projects from PEAC 325 students


Experiential Learning, Experiential Leading: A Trip into Alternative Service Breaks

By Angel Thornsbury

This project is prescriptive in what the mission of my efforts is and descriptive in the accomplishments I plan to realize. For this assignment, I am implementing an alternative service break (also known as an ASB trip) to Washington D.C. over the winter break.

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Diversity Representation in Literature

By Maria Martinez

Representation in literature is important because it allows kids to see the possibilities they have for themselves. Media often portrays the stereotypical representation of minorities. Movies and news outlets show the negative aspects of minorities but rarely what they have achieved.

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Peaceful Paintings: Studying Peace through Art Therapy

By Ryan Kidwell

Through volunteering and devoted efforts to continually engage with troubled and underprivileged teens, I hope to help find them find new ways to navigate through troubling and negative past experiences, and in turn instill a desire to act peacefully instead of violently.

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Words In the Clouds: Connecting books from across the world

By Elshadai Smith-Mensah

With my parents being from Africa, I have always felt very connected to the two countries (Ethiopia and Ghana) and helping to improve the lives of the people that struggle. I wanted to find an effective way of sending books to an Ethiopian library, without spending most of my resources on distributing them.

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Partnership with Flash 502: Young Poet Ambassadors

By Maren Schikler

For my final project I formed a partnership with Flash 502, a group started by several University of Louisville students. The goal of the organization is to create an environment where poetry and spoken word can be shared.

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By Laura Fleming Ospital

I am proposing an oral history project featuring seven individuals who have been involved in diverse peacebuilding efforts in Louisville. The goal of this project is to spread the word about the breadth of peace in our own community, and hopefully inspire more individuals to become peace promoters.

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Grow Our Own : Building Peace through Community Gardens

By Chinnel Williams

My main focus is to organize a community garden in the West End of Louisville that will  provide more accessible healthy foods in an effort to combat food insecurity and reduce violent  conflict in an extremely impoverished neighborhood.

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Project BARC

By Mikaela Matifes

Project BARC (Building Adolescent Responsibility and Compassion)is a 6 week program that allows kids to train dogs with behavior problems. The overall goal is to encourage youth to direct their attention towards positive work within the community and reduce the amount of repeat offenders.

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Bread for the World Institute

By Julie Thackett

Bread for the World is an inclusive faith-based organization that works with political leaders to address hunger across the globe to help combat poverty and the issues that accompany it. Members write personal letters and emails and meet with our members of Congress. Working through churches, campuses, and other organizations, this organization engages more people in advocacy.

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Exemplary Final Projects from PEAC 350 students

Reflecting on Four Years, Culminated in Service Learning

By Brooke Moody

The immense experience I’ve gained through the challenges and situations I’ve faced have prepared me for a better future. And this expansion of self culminated with my service learning experience with Louisville Community Grocery and Louisville Association for Community Economics.

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Exemplary Capstone Projects from PEAC 550 students on Service Learning

My Journey with Volunteers of America

By Ashley Batliner

It is a common occurrence that the lower-class, disabled, and diseased are neglected and overlooked within a community. They are valued as unimportant, helpless, and draining to a community, so they are forgotten and mistreated. Volunteers of America's goal is to rid these ideas from its community and meet the needs of the members in their community.

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Service Learning at The Backside Learning Center

By Carine Basenge

My main focus throughout my service experience was to bridge the gap between the "Us vs. Them" mentality and be more integrating to the people that I was working with. As someone coming from a background where I was once on the giving end and the receiving end of service, I went into my service learning project aware of the importance of fostering inclusivity and openness.

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Service Learning at the Iroquois Library

By Huai Vung

I still vividly remember the day my family and I arrived in America. A mixture of feelings of anxiety and joy occupied all of us and made us feel disoriented because it was so surreal. That little moment and all of my family’s struggles here in our new home have inspired me to choose the Iroquois Library because I know it is time for me to contribute to the community, I live in.

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Service Learning at The Center for Women and Families

By Catherine Mittel

When watching the news or hearing survivor’s stories at the Center, it was easy to focus on the negativity and evil that is in the world. Rather than focusing on the negativity, I celebrated the seemingly little things.

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My Internship At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Kentuckiana

By Mattie DeAngelis

One thing that was a source of comfort for me during the course of my internship was returning to my own role and impact within the organization. I wrote some about this in my journal through the semester and looking back on those entries I can recognize a shift from when I first started up until now.

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Iroquois Branch Louisville Free Public Library

By Isabelle Knepp

My experience this past semester volunteering with refugees through Kentucky Refugee Ministries has only consolidated the truth behind that quote. This semester of service learning has taught me an invaluable lesson of the moral obligation to help others without expecting anything in return.

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Reflection Paper

By BreAnna Martin

“You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” – Winston Churchill.  This quote has always seemed to impact me in many ways, but it has touched me the most by illuminating what “living life” really means. To me, living life and being happy is giving to others, without wanting anything in return.

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Service Learning at Restorative Justice Louisville  And Iroquois Branch Library

By Brittany Campbell

As I am nearing the end of my service learning experience, I can see the un-denying importance of this quote. Never has it been so apparent to me that the actions we take in within our communities effect the lives of the individuals that surround us.

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Family Scholar House

By Korri Woods

This semester, doing such extensive service learning has forced me to critically think about what the value of service is and exactly what service means to me. However, even more so, I have started to think more about how I can continue to do service even when I graduate and for the rest of my life – whether that is as simple as volunteering an hour of my time at an event or doing more long-term, in-depth service projects.

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Gaining Humanity

By Rachel Mahbubani

Family Community Clinic (FCC) is a non-profit, free clinic that provides medical assistance to the medically uninsured. My service learning experience involves expanding access to quality healthcare in my community.

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Fighting Hunger with Kentucky Harvest

By Patrick Barrow

The mission at Kentucky Harvest is to efficiently deliver donated food through a community network that provides meals to people in need. This paper will examine my personal experience working with Kentucky Harvest from my responsibilities to how this experience has made me a better person.

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Peacebuilding and Serving through Storytelling: A Reflection on Service Learning with the Louisville Latinx Oral History Project

By Diana Lalata

These key concepts of inner peace, active listening, and intersectionality are taught within the Peace, Justice, and Conflict Transformation curriculum. I realized I never quite held a great understanding of either until this semester.

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PEAC 550: Final Paper

By Ashley Swope

The service learning site that I chose to do my service with was the Center for Women and Families. The Center is located in Downtown Louisville and offers a large variety of services to men, women, and children that have or are suffering from any form of abuse whether that be physical, sexual, mental, or any combination.

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What is The Center for Women and Families?

By Jacob Messmer

This semester I volunteered for eighty hours with The Center for Women and Families. This organization is well known throughout the United States as one of the premier facilities that deals with domestic abuse. Domestic violence is a widespread epidemic in the United States. Nearly one in three women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime and around one in four men as well. The statistics show that relational abuse in Kentucky is higher than the national average. 

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What is the Resilient Families Project?

By Carli Jo Mosby

The organization I served with this semester, the Resilient Families Project (RFP), is a weekly educational program meant to develop resiliency and wellness skills among individuals and families experiencing homelessness.  Since 2011, University of Louisville faculty, students, and volunteers have served the residents at Wayside Christian Mission's Hotel Louisville and Emergency Homeless Shelter.  The program seeks to promote healthy attachment relationships between caregivers and children, interactive reading between caregivers and children, a sense of belonging and community engagement, and school readiness for children and families.  

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Clark County Youth Shelter

By Nancy Streckfus

My 89 hours of service learning was spent enriching my life and opening my mind to many issues that our local youth face. Being of service both to the staff and the children at the shelter led me be able to integrate my knowledge from different classes and experiences in an effort to process them in a meaningful and reflective way, as outlined through the various ways in this course.

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