The Okra Patch, under the direction of Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Vernell Bennett, continues its efforts to bridge relationships with Delta State students and Cleveland School District students.
The Okra Patch is guided by several key components, including: increased student engagement, community service/regional stewardship, and mentorship within the Cleveland schools, known as Okra Patch Cleveland Public Schools.
During the spring of 2017, 55 students volunteered for hundreds of hours in Cleveland’s public schools.
“It’s important to invest in and support the community that provides so much support to Delta State,” said Bennett. “It’s also important to make students aware of the significance of service and having a social conscience. Okra Patch Cleveland Public Schools is a wonderful way to create pipelines for recruitment while performing community outreach. The response from Cleveland schools has been overwhelmingly positive.”
After wrapping up its first year in the district, five Okra Patch participants from Delta State were recognized for their mentorship at schools. The Volunteer of the Year honorees were:
– East Side High School: Johnna Ladd and Octavia Kirkland
– D.M. Smith Middle School: Alandria Ramsey
– Pearman Elementary: Anna Mammedova and Nicholas Proctor
“This was a very positive experience for both our students and those in the public school system,” added Bennett.
Okra Patch members are also required to participate in all of the organization’s community service projects. Projects for the spring included partnering with Bolivar County Disaster Relief to assist in the rebuilding and repairing of flood damaged homes in Bolivar County and a beautification project with the Cleveland Park Commission.
Next semester, the Okra Patch will be working with Habitat for Humanity.
To join the Okra Patch, and for more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/student-life/okra-patch.