Matthew Krauss, News Writer • email@example.com
On Tuesday, the first ever Mr. E&H program was held in Wiley Hall Auditorium to raise funds for the Samaritan House thrift store. The store helps give funds to incarcerated women reentering society after release from prison.
The night included impromptu dance offs, original autobiographical comical rap pieces and an unconventional monologue about how the contestant had nothing prepared to present as a talent. Achille Wanga was the grand winner.
The Mr. E&H competition is the project coordinated by Civic Innovation 300 class entitled Innovation Leadership, taught by Practitioner in Residence Jim Wallace.
Kara Stewart persuaded the class to pick Samaritan’s House thrift store as the charity to receive the funds because Kara has known the director Ann Ledgerwood for some while now.
The group also wanted to support the thrift store because it is still in development stages having just opened this August.
The money from the event and the thrift store is being saved up so that a house can be bought to provide these women a “safe place to live,” said Ledgerwood. Ledgerwood also believes that incarcerated women are not respected by society and hopes that when they can live normal lives and contribute to society they will be better respected.
Ledgerwood’s influence in the community is recognized by judge and associate professor of geography Edward Davis, who explains his reason for being a judge was because he “really loves Ann Ledgerwood.”
Sophomore Sam Caudill is the group leader and is designated to work with scheduling meetings and working around the parameters of outside groups and administrative forces. His role is known in civic innovation as the“spark plug” and he received the position by the class voting.
“We picked this events,” Caudill explains “because it is something that Emory & Henry has never done before.”
The competition was the student’s initiative and was part of the class’s purpose of teaching students how to be proactive in formulating a plan to get a project completed. Wallace says that this active learning component is the most valuable element of the class because it “will help students be effective members of the community.”
Unlike other classes the results from this project will help an “immediate client” and examines how community action spread benefits to an entire community.
It also allows students to solve the challenges of collaboration including recognizing the importance of treating deadlines with urgency and how to take responsibility for one’s actions.
Students learned how to face challenges of communication and organization when dealing with roadblocks like contestants dropping out and being non-committal to giving their presence to the project.