Students Eschew Florida Beaches for Community Service
Lockhart, S.C., normally doesn’t top the list of spring break destinations, but a handful of Radford University students recently journeyed to the small town to help revitalize the spirit and beauty of a town facing economic hardship.
The project is part of a new alternative spring break program, sponsored by the university’s Department of Career Services and Community Engagement (CSCE), designed to immerse students in a service-learning experience.
Throughout the week, the 12 students painted Lockhart’s old town hall — residents hope to convert it into a museum — and spread fresh coats of paint on a bridge and the town’s lighthouse.
“This trip was an amazing experience for the students and for the community members of Lockhart,” said Alexia Springer, a junior recreation, parks and tourism major who was hired as a peer service leader by CSCE.
Lockhart Town Clerk Brenda Cameron agreed, telling The Union Daily Times, “You can talk with them, ask them questions and get good answers. They are our future, and if the future depends on young people like them, we’re going to have a good one.”
Lockhart, a town with a population of 616 that has struggled economically since a local mill closed, was selected for the service project through the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, which matches college student volunteers with communities in need of help.
Town residents were impressed and thankful for the hard work put forth by the Radford University students, including Town Mayor Ailene Ashe, who wrote on her Facebook page, “Heading out of Lockhart on Old Union Road toward the Recycling Center you will cross an old bridge, which now has silver shiny rails painted by guess who — yep, the students from Radford University. Thanks again Radford!”