A new opportunity has arrived for communication students at Saint Louis University -- The Youth Helping Youth program. It is a partnership between the Department of Communication and Cardinals Care. The program is dedicated to giving communication students the opportunity to give back to the community. One of the ways students can get involved is through the Cardinals Care Practicum class (CMM 493).
"This is a great opportunity for students to experience a life of giving back." said Christopher Lepp, the practicum instructor and director of the Youth Helping Youth program at Saint Louis University. The practicum is also another way Cardinals Care reaches out to youth in the area.
"The program that we have with SLU...students come and help us tell our story and having students come and essentially help these kids, all the kids we support through Cardinals Care." said Michael Hall, Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of Cardinals Care.
This year, five communication students were selected for the practicum, based on their previous classwork and professionalism. The students write scripts, cover events such as the Winter Warm-Up, and produce multimedia projects that tell the Cardinals Care story. Students work as a team, but also take on leadership roles, including head photographer, social media coordinator, chief videographer, head writer and lead editor.
"The Cardinals Care Practicum has allowed me to gain real-world experience in a classroom setting," said Annalise Wilcox, the student who serves as the head photographer. "I have been able to use my academic skills in order to give back to the community."
Other members of the practicum include Head Videographer Jennifer Allison, Social Media Coordinator Grace Bonoma, Lead Editor Jordan Hammermann and Head Writer Erica Miller.
The program also included an Advanced Independent Study this semester. Student Kevin Lawder was chosen as the lead graphic designer. He designed a 10th Anniversary logo for Redbird Rookies, the Cardinals Care youth baseball league. The 10th Anniversary logo will be used on all Redbird Rookies hats, t-shirts, banners and publications.
The practicum is structured so that students learn from each other under Lepp's supervision. "We each perform our individual role and in turn share our knowledge with the class," said student Grace Bonoma, who is the social media coordinator.
As a part of the social media campaign for the practicum, students have chronicled their weekly efforts through a class blog. The blog provides a behind-the-scenes look at the activities of the Cards Care Team relaying stories of both trial and triumph.
Students also use SLU's state-of-the-art audio/visual studio in the Department of Communication. During the class, various Cardinals executives were interviewed about the story of Cardinals Care. The interviews are included in the class's final videos.
The Youth helping Youth program will continue over the summer with the addition of two internships. These internships are only available to communication students at Saint Louis University. Students can learn more about the program by contacting Instructor Christopher Lepp at firstname.lastname@example.org. View one of the final projects below.
Cardinals Care's mission is to care for kids. This mission is accomplished by giving cash grants to other non-profit organizations that support kids and through Redbird Rookies. Cardinals Care has awarded nearly $19 million in support of non-profit, youth-oriented organizations. Cardinals Care is responsible for the construction of 20 youth ball fields in local neighborhoods and work to serve more than 4,500 kids every season as a part of their youth baseball league, Redbird Rookies.