Harding Academy offers various volunteer opportunities for university students of all majors. Teaching, tutoring, theater, music, robotics and athletic training are some of the ways college students can get involved.
Harding Academy’s Wildcat Theatre Company wrapped up its musical, “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in late January. Director Melani Blansett benefited from university student aid.
“They’re definitely mentors. My students see these university students doing the things they want to do,” Blansett said. “For ‘Joseph,’ we had our student teacher, Daniel Smith. We could not have done the show without him.”
Smith, a senior vocal music education major, was the production’s rehearsal accompanist.
“I got to see firsthand the hard work, diligence and talent that each of these students possess,” Smith said. “This opportunity definitely helped me get to know the students quicker and to feel at home in the Harding Academy family.”
An orchestra consisting mostly of university students helped the musical throughout. Senior music major Jackson Russell played guitar.
“Playing in Harding Academy’s production was a good experience for me as a guitarist,” Russell said. “We had limited rehearsal time to put together the music for the show, which meant that I really had to know my stuff before each rehearsal. Overall, it was just a good time making music with the other musicians in the pit.”
Smith graduated from a high school of about 4,000 students. Working with Harding Academy was a completely new experience to him.
“I really didn’t know what to expect from a smaller, private school. I have been inspired by the school’s pursuit of excellence,” Smith said. “The faculty is very purpose-driven in both the academics and the spiritual life of their students. Teaching quite literally molds young people’s minds as they are prepared to further our community and the kingdom. This is a responsibility I do not take lightly.”
Blansett said she believes pportunities at Harding Academy can be great resume builders and leadership experiences, which also allow high school students to feel connected to the university. When they enroll in the university, they often already know older students, which can make the transition more comfortable. However, high school students are not the only ones benefiting from these interactions.
“When you work with someone that’s younger and you’re encouraging them, it’s great for yourself. You give and you get back,” Blansett said.
Stay updated with Harding Academy positions and events at www.harding.edu/academy.