FROM READERS: Truman Leadership Camp students share their definition of service

Friday, July 25, 2014 | 5:46 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The campers at Truman Leadership Camp learned what it means to do public service through volunteer projects and a mock City Council session.

From Monday through Friday, youth entering the seventh, eighth or ninth grades had the chance to create a service project, tour city hall, mock advocate for their service projects and simulate the process of government.

Graduate students from MU Truman School of Public Affairs created the camp in 2013. Adam Schmid, the camp's executive director, said the camp aims to emphasize the positive long-term effects of community service.

As part of an ongoing project to share community thoughts about volunteerism, we asked some of the campers what service means to them. Here are their responses:

Ashton Hartman, 13, goes to Fulton Middle School. She said service is "putting others needs before yours, helping others in need and being respectful."

Evan Eimers, 13, goes to Gentry Middle School. She said "service means I can make a difference in another person's life or the community. I'm giving back for good things people have done for me. It makes me feel appreciated to see a person smile with love and joy because of what I have done. I feel like a leader."

Mamiko Suzuki, 13, is an exchange student from Yokohama, Japan. Roughly translated she said service means "helpful."

Anna Bonderer, 14, goes to Fulton Middle School. She said "service is important to me because I get to make others as happy as I am when I get to help them. It makes me feel good."

Share your thoughts or read about other campers' definition of service in our Facebook album.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Stephanie Ebbs.

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