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OSU-Tulsa community service class project turns from theory to reality

Andrew Vang, left, Bailey Mathes, Latasha Walton, Angela Moore and Jason Flewellen celebrate the new after-school program for John 3:16 Mission.

The class challenge was to design a theoretical health education program based on research that could meet the needs of a local community service organization, said Micah Hartwell, OSU-Tulsa lecturer in health education and promotion.

One team went beyond the assignment and actually implemented its program at a Tulsa social service agency.

“These students are not only exceptional and exemplify what it means to be a Cowboy, but they are also providing support to organizations within the community,” Hartwell said. “The passion of OSU-Tulsa’s Health Education and Promotion students is amazing.”

OSU-Tulsa’s Health Education and Promotion program prepares graduates for careers in wellness, public and community health, medical-based and community fitness, corporate wellness and graduate study in areas such as public health, exercise science or the allied health fields.

In Hartwell’s program design course, Angela Moore, Andrew Vang and Bailey Mathes created Providing Recreational Activities for Youth (PRAY), an after-school exercise program for children at John 3:16 Mission. The organization provides services to homeless and at-risk men, women and children in Tulsa.

The PRAY team connected with Jason Flewellen, youth minister at John 3:16, and began asking questions about the organization’s needs. He told them that younger children needed more opportunity for exercise and lacked a designated area to play.

Moore, Vang and Mathes then solicited nearly $500 in donations from the community to use for fitness programming. First, they purchased a volleyball net to partition the gym and provide space for the younger kids. The team then collected gift cards for McDonalds, Subway and Little Caesars to use as incentives for children to participate in each month’s exercise activities and games.

“Basically, it started with a need and we reached out to people who also have the same passion about our community,” said Moore.

After their formal class presentation, the PRAY team handed over the donated materials to Flewellen and colleague Latasha Walton, who leads after-school and summer programs for John 3:16.

 

Other teams demonstrate giving spirit

 

The PRAY team isn’t the only one that exceeded expectations.

OSU-Tulsa HEP students Katy Ford, Taylor Wood and Candace King began research to craft a fitness program for kids at the Street School of Tulsa, an alternative school that provides dropout prevention and counseling services.

While learning about the school, the team discovered that many children and teens who attend the school lack in basic needs, especially clothing.

Outside of their project, the three team members organized a successful clothing drive on the OSU-Tulsa campus to collect new or gently used items for the school’s students.

“Overall, this class was made of students who really want to help Tulsans in need,” Hartwell said. “It was an honor to a part of something that really made an impact on the community and it will have a lasting impact on me as a teacher.”

OSU-Tulsa students Angela Moore, left, Andrew Vang and Bailey Mathes present their design for an after-school exercise program for children at John 3:16 Mission.