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CardinalCorps Leader Combines Service and Scholarship

CardinalCorps Leader Combines Service and Scholarship

By Alli Bates ’16

CardinalCorps Leaders (CCL) are an enthusiastic, driven and determined group of students that want to help serve the Westerville and Otterbein communities, excel in academic scholarship and serve as leaders on campus. Students from all class years meet up weekly to plan service programs to better the community.

When Otterbein junior Maddie Hill was a senior in high school, she was invited by the Otterbein Center for Community Engagement (CCE) to apply for a community service scholarship. Along with receiving the scholarship, she would be in charge of a weekly program, serve as a service ambassador on campus, and help organize and run a majority of services that would take place on campus.

“With lots of encouragement from my family, I decided to fill out the application, write a few different essays to show that I had been involved with service throughout high school and how I wanted to continue that in college,” said Hill.

After a Skype interview and talking with a group of energetic, warm people, she was really hoping to someday be a part of the group.

“I soon heard that I had been accepted as a CardinalCorps Leader and at that point I had no idea what this group would someday mean to me,” said Hill. “The CCLs have become one of my first families here at Otterbein and I have met some of my best friends in this group that I cannot imagine going through college without.”

Hill explained how being a CCL has been one of the best experiences that she has had at Otterbein.

“One of the most rewarding parts of being a CCL has been working with students as well as our community partners. I have gained a ton of experience working with people, organizing volunteers, leadership and even learning things about myself.”

Another rewarding part of being a CCL is running her weekly program called Club Whittier, a mentoring program with nearby Whittier Elementary School.

Volunteers give after-school homework help to fourth- and fifth-grade students at Whittier. Volunteers and students also participate in fun activities and games designed to develop academic curiosity, leadership skills, community awareness, creativity and teamwork.

Hill said she loves being able to go and hang out with the kids at Whittier elementary school and do service projects with them. She teaches them that no matter what age you are, you can still make an impact on your community through service.

“Being a CCL has helped me learn that I want to work in student affairs when I graduate from Otterbein. Another rewarding part of being so involved in service has been that I am able to combine two of my passions of service and traveling. During my freshman year I went to Nicaragua on a service trip and last year I went to New Jersey on a habitat for humanity trip,” said Hill.