Jennifer Stroot is a Newman Civic Fellow

Nationally Recognized McKendree University Senior Finds Joy in Community Service

Lebanon, Ill. — Jennifer Stroot, a McKendree University senior from O’Fallon, Ill., is a 2014 Newman Civic Fellow, one of 197 college student leaders from 36 states recognized for their spirit and dedication to community service. She will receive the honor at the university’s Leadership and Service Awards Banquet on April 27 at the Regency Conference Center.

“As a McKendree Community Service Scholar, Jenny has been a campus leader in public service,” said Dr. James Dennis, university president. “She has set a great example for her classmates in serving individuals with special needs and raising awareness on issues affecting low-income populations. Her dedication and enthusiasm are infectious. She is, and will be, a force for positive change in her community.”

Stroot, an elementary education major, has coordinated the university’s involvement in Bridge the Divide, a program which gives special needs children the opportunity to ride and care for horses. On campus, she has directed events during Hunger and Homelessness Week, led numerous food drives, and is deeply involved in several organizations, including McKendree Interfaith and the Disability Awareness Club.

Joy drives her passion for community service, Stroot said. “The joy you see on an elderly adults face as you help them shout ‘bingo.’ The outburst of joy the students with special needs exhibit as they make a basket from on top of a horse. The joy that radiates off an organization as you help them through a donation or simply by lending a hand. I’m honored to find it every time I volunteer, and it makes me want to continue giving back.”

According to the Campus Compact website, a coalition of 1,200 college and university presidents, “the 2014 Newman Civic Fellows are an inspiring group of leaders who are already making an impact in communities where they live, learn and serve.” The awards are made in memory of Dr. Frank Newman, a Campus Compact founder, and sponsored by the KPMG Foundation.

Photo of Jennifer Stroot

McKendree University senior elementary education major Jennifer Stroot of O’Fallon.