On Wednesday, May 8, a group of students from Lourdes’ Sociology 320: Gender, Family and Society course will work alongside residents and staff at Catholic Charities’ La Posada Family Emergency Shelter. Led by Assistant Professor of Sociology Sharon Everhardt, Ph.D., the class will participate in a neighborhood clean-up effort in Toledo’s Old South End neighborhood.

“This is a great opportunity for our students to get out in the community where they live and work, and make real connections with residents,” shares Dr. Everhardt. “This project came about as a result of the strong partnership Lourdes has formed with La Posada. The partnership allows students the opportunity to study real social issues in our own community and meet community needs.”

This is the second class taught by Dr. Everhardt this academic year that has conducted a service project through La Posada. As part of the project, students involved will receive credit toward the fulfillment of required service learning hours. Though Lourdes has incorporated service learning into its academics since the 1990’s, last fall as part of a new institution-wide initiative to further emphasize its Franciscan values of learning and service, the university adopted a universal service learning requirement for all incoming transfer and freshman students.

“We’ve continued to grow this aspect of the university, and this past academic year officially set a service learning requirement for all incoming students. This is a bit unique in that Lourdes requires it as an institution and not just in a specific department, which is the format that many other schools follow.”