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Alternative Service Experience Connections to Classroom and Career 

One of the benefits of going on an Alternative Service Experience is connecting service experiences to classroom learning. Mailyn Greig-Ratz, a senior who designed her own Interdisciplinary Studies major called Food Outreach Studies, served as one of the Peer Leaders on an ASE program called “Growing Up Green.” This ASE program works with the Jones Valley Teaching Farm, which has been an ASE partner for more than a decade. Students on this program get to work on an urban teaching farm in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. Jones Valley is a hands-on food education program that connections local students to fresh food, farming, and culinary arts through cross-curricular lessons at school, farm visits, and food donations. Each year, Appalachian students have helped prepare the farm for the spring planting season during their spring break.

Mailyn said, “I’ve learned a lot about community needs assessment in my classes and it was really nice to see my studies in practice. I want to go more into the educational aspect of food outreach, like workshops and afterschool programs, which is a big part of what Jones Valley does. This Peer Leading experience was a nice introduction to what that career could be like. I definitely gained a lot from it.” Mailyn is pictured below on the far left with her ASE group.

May 26, 22