The Annual Service Learning Symposium featured inspirational stories from guest speakers Dan Vaughn and Troy Freund as Ashley Bayer ’12 (Interior Architecture and Design) was honored with the Northwestern Mutual Foundation Service Learning Scholarship for her excellence in service with Daystar, Inc.
Daystar provides a safe and caring long-term transitional home that gives women the support, tools and resources to build a life free from domestic abuse. It is one of 200 community partners in MIAD’s Service Learning program.
“I enjoyed every minute of working with Daystar,” said Bayer. “They became another family to me and I hope to design more spaces for them in the future.”
According to Vice President of Academic Affairs David Martin, Bayer contributed immensely to Daystar during the course of her service learning, “practically remodeling the home.” Despite undergoing surgery during her service, she completed her project, brought in new furniture from St. Vincent de Paul in Saukville and organized an art therapy program for residents using recycled materials. Bayer is also a volunteer firefighter in Saukville.
Bayer added, “I wish I could afford to do pro-bono work around the world for everyone; Interior Design isn’t just my job, it is my life.”
Lynn Heimbruch, program officer at Northwestern Mutual Foundation, which provides generous support for MIAD’s Service Learning Program, commented on its impact. “The program is an investment in the community, worth over $1 million in value to Milwaukee and surrounding areas.”
Vaughn, an integral part of Milwaukee’s poetry and spoken word community who engages the community through creative writing workshops and works closely with Artists Working in Education (A.W.E.), commented that the Service Learning Program embodies what he encourages in his students; to dig deep and give back, but give something that means something.
Northwestern Mutual Foundation and Daystar, Inc., were also honored at the symposium by MIAD President Neil Hoffman as exceptional community partners and contributing factors to MIAD being named to the President of the United States’ 2012 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
In recognition of Daystar’s impact on the community, and on behalf of the Honorable Joan Kessler, Hoffman also awarded the organization a monetary grant.