Community Engagement News

Aug 29, 2022. 5 min read

Community Engagement News August 29, 2022


Plans being finalized for International Coastal Cleanup Day

Students taking service-learning courses

Students taking service-learning courses will participate in projects on the major days of service—three in the fall and two in the spring. Last year’s Founders’ Day of Service included projects at Hubert O. Sibley K–8 Academy near Barry’s main campus.

Five major days of service are on the community engagement calendar for the 2022–2023 academic year. They include Founders’ Day of Service in the fall semester and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in the spring.

Plans are being finalized for International Coastal Cleanup Day, September 17. It will be Ocean Conservancy’s 37th annual event, the world’s largest one-day volunteer effort to protect oceans and waterways.

Saturday, October 8, will be Food Security Day. Students taking an orientation class will be the main participants in community service activities focused on the issue of food insecurity in South Florida.

To kick off Barry Founders’ Week, a day of service is on the community engagement calendar. Collaborative service projects will take place on November 5.

Founders' Day of Service
International Coastal Cleanup
MLK Day of service
Sustainability Saturday

Five major days of service are on the community engagement calendar. Students, faculty, and staff members are expected to turn out in large numbers for projects planned for each day.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service is a special opportunity for students to support the advancement of Barry University’s commitment to social justice through collaborative service in disadvantaged communities. Barry marks MLK Day on the Saturday immediately preceding the federal holiday (the third Monday of January).

Sustainability Saturday is an annual day of service during Earth Week in April. Barry employees and students are invited to “uphold the sacredness of Earth” by supporting a community-based service project—slated for April 15—that contributes to environmental health.

Students completing the community service requirement of service-learning courses will take part in projects on the major days of service. Other participants will include student, faculty, and staff volunteers as well as alumni representatives.

Major Days of Service

  • International Coastal Cleanup Day: Saturday, September 17, 2022
  • Food Security Day: Saturday, October 8, 2022
  • Founders’ Day of Service: Saturday, November 5, 2022
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service: Saturday, January 14, 2023
  • Sustainability Saturday: Saturday, April 15, 2023

Undergraduate Melanie Morejon Supports Local Efforts to Improve Quality of Life of Honduran Girls

Community Impact: Melanie Morejon
Melanie Morejon

Melanie Morejon wants to make a difference in the lives of young women. She is committed to assisting with the transformation of “broken lives” into “productive, joyful young women.”

During her first year as a business management student at Barry University, Melanie devoted some of her time to community service with Our Little Roses Foreign Mission Society, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to assisting at-risk girls from Honduras.

After serving primarily as an administrative assistant in the organization’s Miami Shores office, she became a sponsorship assistant. She would “jump in wherever she is needed,” said Wendy L. Bourgault, executive director of Our Little Roses—“from doing data entry to jumping on the phone with a donor and giving them information about our work.”

“My work as a sponsorship assistant allows me to learn how the world of non-profits works and how to make a positive impact in our world, starting right away,” Melanie said during an interview. Her work with Our Little Roses has benefited girls who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected.

Melanie mentioned that the opportunity to speak with sponsors and donors was a highlight of her service experience last academic year.

“Every time one of our girls receives a new book, a new pair of shoes, or any gift from their sponsors, there is happiness,” she noted. “Seeing how their face lights up with joy and how much they appreciate everything that is given to them makes my day every time. Seeing how they have learned to read and write so fluently still has me in awe.”

Melanie Morejon

Melanie Morejon, a member of the Barry Service Corps, with Our Little Roses’ Sponsorship Coordinator Valeria Ramirez (above) and Executive Director Wendy Bourgault (below).

Melanie Morejon
Our Little Roses Foreign Mission Society

Our Little Roses Foreign Mission Society provides young girls with the tools to succeed and become integral members of society. The organization is “devoted to improving the quality of life of the girls of Honduras, nurturing them through God’s love, and offering life-changing opportunities including education, healthcare, and housing.”

Born in Hialeah, Melanie Morejon is a member of the Barry Service Corps. She was motivated to join the Corps so as to gain real-world experience while being of service to the community.

Ms. Bourgault described her as “full of optimism and very self-motivated,” adding that Melanie “has become an essential part of our team.”

As one of the few Hispanic workers in the Miami Shores office, Melanie has felt a sense of pride and honor. She plans to continue her service with Our Little Roses as she strives to make a difference in the local community.

Here at Barry, Melanie has gained leadership experience through various student organizations and particularly as director of events for Leading Women of Tomorrow. She was an orientation leader earlier this semester and she will serve as a peer mentor in the Emerging Leaders Program. In addition, she has taken on the organizer role for TEDxBarryU 2023.

Melanie hopes to become a motivational speaker and the CEO of a non-profit that focuses on youth development. “My end goal,” she declared, “is to remind our youth that the world would not be the same if they weren’t in it, and that their journey of self-discovery starts now.”

Community Service Placements Available to Students Eligible for Federal Work-Study

Barry Service Corps now hiring for paid positions!

Community service positions are available to students who are eligible for Federal Work-Study. Students who accept such positions are enrolled in the Barry Service Corps, a civic engagement program.

The Barry Service Corps is a civic engagement initiative that supports students in applying civic and academic learning to real-world problems. While serving the community through nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and local government agencies, members develop interpersonal, teamwork, and other career-related skills.

The CCSI manages FWS Community Service in partnership with the Office of Financial Aid and the Department of Human Resources. The CCSI’s approach to the program is based on interdivisional and campus–community collaboration and involves the full integration of FWS Community Service into Barry’s strategic plan for community engagement. As part of the plan, the CCSI enrolls all participating students in the Barry Service Corps.

For further information, contact Emmanuel Ikpuri, program facilitator for FWS Community Service, via email:

Give Pulse

Community Engagement News

SOCIAL JUSTICE EVENTS: The Student/Farmworker Alliance’s Encuentro in September and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ National Week of Action in November are among events that serve as opportunities to promote social justice. 

DELIBERATIVE DIALOGUE: The first forum in this academic year’s Deliberative Dialogue Series will take place on September 22. The forum is titled “Haiti in Turbulent Times: Forging a Path Forward.”

FEDERAL WORK-STUDY COMMUNITY SERVICE: Students who are eligible for Federal Work-Study are urged to apply for community service positions. Students who accept such positions become members of the Barry Service Corps, a well-regarded civic engagement program.

Community Engagement News is a publication of the Center for Community Service Initiatives.

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