Class takes students out of comfort zone, into teamwork, comforting others

Nina Ruiz
In Motion Staff Writer

The journey to success is often thought to be a path walked alone. Daytona State College Business Professor Shana Deyo, however, says, “Success is not about climbing to the top over others, but about helping others.”

Bryon Grant, left, Hunter Rogers and Ives Morin present their group project.
Bryon Grant, left, Hunter Rogers and Ives Morin present their group project.

Students in the Selected Topics in Management course instructed by Dr. Deyo, completed their last project in March. The assignment called for them to organize something, such as a meeting, but many took part in doing something charitable or philanthropic for their community with a small group of classmates. While some helped the homeless in organizations such as Halifax Urban Ministries and Second Harvest Food Bank, others picked up litter in the community and fed high school students all-you-can-eat pancakes.

One of the groups participated in painting the rooms of the Halifax Urban Ministries homeless shelter. Steven Clarke, among those students involved, donated extra supplies to the center.

“I donated food and clothing to make the day even greater. Clothing makes the memory even more everlasting to me, because then I can see someone wearing my clothes around here to remember that I participated in something great,” Clarke said.

As college students, a commonly shared dread is group work. Whether the blame is a lack of communication within the group or bad work ethics, an issue always seems to arise one way or another. Good communication requires everyone in a group to understand each other effectively. Talking is only one of the many aspects of good communication.

“In groups, it’s hard sometimes just to be quiet and listen,” Mariena Guidroz, another student in the class said. “In my team though, it was the first time I was in a group where everyone listened more than they spoke.”

Another group also participated in helping the homeless, particularly the Second Harvest Food Bank organization. The group of students served 336 meals, feeding a total of 85 families by the end of the day.

“This was a real eye-opener to me,” group member Winston Harvey reflected. “I saw two ladies sleeping on the sidewalk at 8 a.m. We take so much for granted sometimes. We must realize how fortunate we are, to live the lives some of us are lucky enough to live.”

Some groups in the class participated in brightening others’ days in different ways. They collected litter through Volusia County’s “Adopt a Road” program or focused their help and time around children. Students who spent time with children did so in the community’s little league ball teams, as well as served a breakfast buffet to Deltona High School students.

David Knight, who fundraised to gather supplies for a little league team struggling to come up with the assets and materials for the children, said, “You don’t have to go through the same challenges as someone else to be empathetic.”

The team who served breakfast to the teenagers at Deltona High energized the school body with their enthusiasm and, of course, pancakes. This encouragement was enough for the teens to stand up and join the kitchen crew to serve an even more memorable breakfast for their peers.

One of the students who helped serve the breakfast explained the more significant feeling that came of that day. “I used to often question what it meant to have a good life,” Hunter Rogers said. “And I found that it’s being a part of something bigger than yourself.”

Dr. Deyo’s students felt accomplished and as if they made a great difference in their community. The students all agreed that the project was enlightening and appreciated peer Stephen Lee’s closing sentiment: “A big part of success is giving back to the community.”