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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 06, 2018

College of the Ozarks students, faculty, and staff serve others in Belize

Students, faculty, and staff from College of the Ozarks traveled to Belize on a mission trip the week of Nov. 10-20, 2018.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — College of the Ozarks students, faculty, and staff spent time serving others in Belize the week of Nov. 10-19, 2018.

The College continued its investment in the rural communities of Belize through medical, educational, and discipleship initiatives. The students interacted with the Belizean people through educational instruction, community health outreach, and local church partnerships.  

During their time in Belize, C of O students participated in a myriad of activities with the townspeople from the Cayo District, a cultural-economic hub of western Belize. The College’s group taught students at the Billy White Primary School, led community health and training visits, and orchestrated an event to promote higher education.

“The focus of these trips is help students see their major as a potential launching point for their role in ministry or mission whether they choose to serve professionally or part-time,” Bolger said. “We focus on aligning the ministry activities as close to the student’s respective majors as possible.”

C of O students led the primary school in Bible lessons and worship services during their trip.

“The most exciting part of the trip was when the whole school came together and sang the song that my team and I wrote about being one united body in Christ,” Bandy said. “Those kids showed me the love of Christ by the way they responded to us as soon as we arrived.”

The new addition of science experiment lessons brought an exciting view of education to the children.

“We were able to teach the children science while incorporating a spiritual aspect,” Overton said. “Our team demonstrated experiments such as how to create fake snow, check pulse rate, and explaining the inner workings of volcanoes.”

In addition to the educational activities, the students, staff, and faculty of C of O participated in community health activities. The people of Cayo were shown how to create toothpaste and hand sanitizer out of indigenous materials, and the psychological principles of empathy, kindness, and respect were taught to the Billy White students.

“We sponsored a Parent’s Night at the Billy White Primary School, where the C of O students talked about the value of higher education,” Bolger said. “The C of O group provided aid to help the school continue this initiative.”

College of the Ozarks selected three Billy White students to receive support in the way of school fees for next year. The criteria for selection was based on students who embodied the academic, cultural, patriotic, Christian, and vocational goals of the College. Education is not free nor paid for completely by the government in Belize, and lack of funds, sometimes as little as $25, can keep students from continuing their education.

Phang explained she had come to know one of the primary school students, Elsy, who received funding to further her education into high school.

“She had told me that she wasn't interested in going because she wasn't sure if her parents could afford it,” Phang said. “When she received the gift, you could plainly see how excited and appreciative she was.”

“Increasingly, our relationships have grown deeper, and the depth of experience our students receive are more and more profound,” Bolger said. “There is a great synergy between our partners in Belize and us.”

The group consisted of the following C of O students, faculty, and staff:

  • Dr. Andrew Bolger, campus minister
  • Dr. Carol Breaux, assistant professor of chemistry
  • Dr. Jeff Elliot, professor of psychology
  • Dr. Tina Keith, professor of education
  • Dr. Kerry Moore, assistant professor of education
  • Jourdain Bagby, senior family studies and social services major from Springfield, Missouri
  • Benjamin Bandy, senior public relations major from Branson, Missouri
  • Mary Grace Baldwin, senior early childhood elementary education major from Warrensburg, Missouri
  • Allysa Buerster, junior early childhood elementary education major from Salem, Illinois
  • Zane Buhr, senior business administration major from Harrison, Arkansas
  • Lydia Burnett, senior vocal music education major from Bolivar, Missouri
  • Victoria Dunger, senior nursing major from Nixa, Missouri
  • Kacie Galey, senior nursing major from Hollister, Missouri
  • Kyla Hutsell, senior chemistry major from Mountain Grove, Missouri
  • Esly Lopez, sophomore allied health science major from Green Forest, Illinois
  • Chantel Martin, senior elementary education major from Washburn, Missouri
  • Miranda Murphy, senior English education major from Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
  • Alexis Overton, junior human and molecular chemistry major from Hollister, Missouri
  • Vickie Phang, senior meeting and special event management major from Malaysia
  • Jonathan Stech, senior business administration major from Branson, Missouri
  • Logan Snyder, junior psychology major from Westville, Oklahoma
  • Makenzie Walker, senior elementary education major from Chadwick, Missouri

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 Most Innovative School in the Midwest by U.S. News & World Report for 2019 and No. 1 Best Bang for the Buck by Washington Monthly. 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 2018. It features historic lodging, fine dining, and meeting rooms. With more than 350 student workers, it is the largest workstation on campus. Follow College of the Ozarks at or on Twitter @CofOHardWorkU


12.06.18 – Racheal Carlyon



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