JOPLIN, MO - Missouri Southern State University sociology students have worked throughout the semester to make a waiting area for child abuse victims come to life. The room was just a plain room before, but now has vibrant colors, play toys, and books. Organizers say it's a small gesture for children who have to testify against their abusers.
The students partnered with several community organizations and the county prosecutors office to make it happen. They say the name of their group, Empowering Young Voices, really represents their mission for the project.
"We're helping these kids try to find a voice at a time that's very frightening for them, said Lisa Miller, one of the five students who completed this project. "It's just a stressful time for them and we wanted to make it a little bit more comfortable," she continued.
I also spoke with the professor of this class, Dr. Ree Wells-Lewis, who says the idea of learning through community outreach or "service learning" can be much more meaningful than listening to a lecture.