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News from Hard Work U.®

Valorie Coleman
Public Relations Director
College of the Ozarks
Point Lookout, MO 65726
Office: (417) 690-2212

December 12, 2017

School of the Ozarks sophomores travel to East St. Louis for mission trip

S of O Sophomore Luke Williams volunteers at 15th Street Baptist Church in East St. LouisSchool of the Ozarks sophomore Luke Williams from Branson, Missouri, volunteers at 15th Street Baptist Church in East St. Louis during a mission trip Nov. 17-19, 2017.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — School of the Ozarks high school sophomores embarked on a mission trip to East St. Louis, Nov. 17 – 19.

A group of School of the Ozarks students volunteered at 15th Street Baptist Church throughout the weekend. The students served the community by packing food baskets for Thanksgiving and serving dinner at the church. Students also helped by picking up trash outside the church.

Students on the trip included the following: Jessica Barber, Kara Bergeron, Kirsten Berndt, Erin Black, Emma Breeden, Alex Burney, Ashleigh Maneth, Brooke Roberts, Maya Saffle, Chenani Santana, Jazmine Schwark, Victoria Smith, Molly Sparks, Sean Campbell, Richie Cummings, Reuben Fansler, Caleb Gates, Ethan Lander, Jackson Lundeen, Justice Reynolds, Mahlen Roberts, Dawson Sherer, Eli Simmons, and Luke Williams.

The students were accompanied by the following: Brad Dolloff, dean of School of the Ozarks; Abbey Vogt, School of the Ozarks associate professor of social studies; David Vogt, associate professor of criminal justice at College of the Ozarks; Jerry Martin, School of the Ozarks seventh and eighth grade instructor; and Andrea Martin, School of the Ozarks instructor of mathematics.

This is the sixth year for School of the Ozarks to visit St. Louis and volunteer at 15th Street Baptist Church.

“This little church in East St. Louis that God planted there years ago has a ministry that reaches all the way across the Mississippi River and into Southwest Missouri and ministers to us,” said Brad Dolloff, dean of School of the Ozarks. “We went to serve, but it ends up that they really served us.”

Another unexpected by-product is just the cohesiveness that develops between the students,” Dolloff said. “You begin to see a class come together and support one another and grow in their relationships with one another.”

Reynolds said the trip reminded him to be grateful.

“The people were very thankful for whatever they had and that was a reminder to me,” Reynolds said.

Bergeron said it was a positive experience serving in a community.

“I realized a lot of times when we do mission work, we think we might have to go to another country or do something radical,” Bergeron said. “Sometimes all it takes is just packing boxes of food or giving someone a simple turkey or some clothing.”  

In addition to volunteering at 15th Street Baptist Church, students visited the St. Louis Gateway Arch and shared dinner at the home of School of the Ozarks 1965 graduate, Lieutenant General Hughey. They concluded their trip by attending a Sunday morning service at the church and taking a visit to the St. Louis Zoo.

For more information, contact Public Relations Director Valorie Coleman at (417) 690-2212.

About College of the Ozarks

College of the Ozarks is a private, Christian, liberal arts college, located in Point Lookout, Missouri, on a 1,000-acre campus. Christian values, hard work, and financial responsibility comprise the fundamental building blocks of the “Hard Work U.” experience. The College earns numerous accolades yearly, including No. 1 Best Value Regional College in the Midwest and No. 1 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2018. To achieve its vision, the College pursues academic, vocational, Christian, patriotic, and cultural goals. These goals are mirrored in School of the Ozarks, a laboratory school that completes the K-college model.

The Keeter Center — the College’s award-winning lodge, restaurant, and conference facility — was ranked a Top Small Hotel in the U.S. by TripAdvisor for 2017. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest work station on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU.


12.12.17 – Samantha Stephans


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