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AUK Students Serve their Community

"AUK students should not only engage in academic, intellectual and public research activities but also should step outside their campus and serve their community," Said Dr. Inas Mahfouz Assistant Professor of English at AUK. Earlier this year, AUK signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lothan Youth Achievement Center (LOYAC) to enhance students' engagement with their community and facilitate their professional development and personal growth. This spring, Dr. Mahfouz and a total of 67 AUK students volunteered with (LOYAC) as part of their ENGL 102: Writing and Information Literacy course. The students volunteered in "Service is my Joy", a LOYAC program that gives the volunteers the chance to help the less fortunate.

ENGL102: Writing and Information Literacy aims at developing students' critical analysis and response to different issues. To give it a more hands-on dimension, Dr. Mahfouz decided this semester to engage her students with their community through community-based writing. Through LOYAC's "Service is my Joy", the students engaged in different activities at different centers around Kuwait. Some students helped mentally disabled children at Abeer2; others supported autistic people at Paradise; a third group cooperated together to clean beaches and the last group volunteered at Kuwait Red Crescent Society. "Despite some concerns at the beginning, the students enjoyed the experience of giving back to their community and also the fact that they would write about their real life experience," said Dr. Mahfouz

Dr. Mahfouz and her students have taken writing outside the typically protected classrooms and placed it in direct contact with the community and its problems. This community-based writing course has culminated in detailed analyses of the LOYAC website, approximately a 15,000-word blog where students record their feelings about service. Finally, the students have written research papers discussing community service and higher education from different perspectives based on their experience with LOYAC. To students, this was a life changing experience as one of them puts it "When I go there and they [the children] hear my voice talking to the nurses, even before they see me, they start calling me!! That is truly the happiest moment of my Sundays and Wednesdays!"

ENGL 102 Students

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 19th May 2016

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