Skip side bar to content.

News and Events

The Ozark Visitor

Events and Activities Calendar

News from Hard Work U.®

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

April 08, 2019

Students spend spring break serving in Pearland, Texas, and Rockaway Beach, Missouri

C of O students and Samaritan''s Purse restore houses.Seventeen students and two sponsors from College of the Ozarks, along with a representative from Samaritan’s Purse, restored three houses in Pearland, Texas, that were severely damaged by Hurricane Harvey.

C of O junior helps restore house.Joel Johnson, junior from Bolingbrook, Illinois, measures a piece of siding to be cut and installed at a house in Pearland, Texas.

C of O students serve in Rockaway Beach.Students clean leaves and brush as a service project at a house in Rockaway Beach, Missouri. (L – R): Faith Ebert of Springfield, Missouri; Austin Wylie of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Alyssa Goth of Clinton, Missouri; and Ivy Fry of Pana, Illinois.

Sponsor for C of O service trip to Rockaway Beach.Justin Sharp, sponsor for the 17 students who served in Rockaway Beach, gives his two children, Norah and Hayden, a ride in a wheelbarrow.

POINT LOOKOUT, MO. — More than 30 students from College of the Ozarks dedicated their spring break to serving in Pearland, Texas, near Houston, which was struck by Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and Rockaway Beach, Missouri.

Before spring break, students worked diligently to prepare for these opportunities to serve during the week of March 18-23, 2019.

Pearland, Texas

In Pearland, students collaborated with Samaritan’s Purse to rebuild and restore three houses that were severely damaged by flooding from Hurricane Harvey. When they were not involved in the reconstruction projects, the group spent time in fellowship and reflection.

“The things I learned while working in new construction at the College — making accurate measurements and using tools — allowed me to feel comfortable on a worksite,” said Tyler Mendoza, sophomore biblical and theological studies major.

While students helped with the physical reconstruction in Pearland, they learned more about spiritual growth from the residents they went to serve.

“The thing that stayed with me came from the people who had been devastated by the hurricane,” said Ben Bandy, senior public relations major. “They told me their story. Despite everything bad that happened to them, they never stopped relying on God. The faith those people have is something I will never forget.”

Student participants:

  • Ben Bandy, senior public relations major from Waterloo, Illinois
  • Logan Bass, junior psychology major from Troy, Missouri
  • Tyler Battles, senior allied health science interdisciplinary major from Bloomfield, Missouri
  • Daniel Betzer, senior business administration major from Branson, Missouri
  • David Byrd, sophomore math education major from Mountain Home, Arkansas
  • Austin Case, senior business management major from Nixa, Missouri
  • Chase Gastineau, senior K-12 physical education/exercise science major from Ava, Missouri
  • Malakias Gephart, sophomore biblical studies major from Tunnel Hill, Illinois
  • Sherman Hartzler, senior business administration major from Gunn City, Missouri
  • Joel Johnson, junior business administration major from Bolingbrook, Illinois
  • Skylar Luna, junior graphic arts major from West Plains, Missouri
  • Grant McNeill, freshman conservation and wildlife management interdisciplinary major from Walnut Shade, Missouri
  • Tyler Mendoza, sophomore Christian ministry major from Pueblo, Colorado
  • Nathan Newell, junior business administration major from Bloomfield, Missouri
  • Cole Oliver, senior history education major from Springfield, Missouri
  • Evan Schiefer, senior accounting major from Raymore, Missouri
  • Judson Vanderpool, junior psychology major from Harrison, Arkansas

Rockaway Beach, Missouri

In Rockaway Beach, students collaborated with Bridge of Faith Community Church to facilitate a three-day youth outreach, encouraging students of the future generation to be agents of change and break the cycle of poverty.

Justin and Sarah Sharp, sponsors of the College of the Ozarks Chi Alpha Campus Ministry, led the 17 students to Rockaway Beach. The initiative provided a way for the College community to support Bridge of Faith Community Church through active community development and intentional youth discipleship in Rockaway Beach.

“This was not outreach to save helpless children,” said Justice Daniel, senior criminal justice major. “This was an opportunity for growing people to encourage growing people. In the end, everyone was enriched through the experience.”

The group conducted nightly gatherings for youth, which consisted of giveaways, food, worship, speakers, and small groups. The team also spent their mornings and afternoons staining a fence and creating a space near the church for the youth and their community to have bonfires and fellowship.

Bridge of Faith Community Church has been pivotal in the restoration of Rockaway Beach and has partnered with the College on several occasions to serve the residents to create an inviting atmosphere for the community.

Student participants:

  • Lauren Bailey, junior business administration major from Owaneco, Illinois
  • Samuel Baumer, junior nursing major from Columbia, Missouri
  • Justice Daniel, junior criminal justice major from Republic, Missouri
  • Ruby Davis, junior psychology major from Memphis, Nebraska
  • Celine Douthit, freshman public relations and social work double major from Thailand
  • Faith Ebert, junior psychology major from Springfield, Missouri
  • Johanna Ennis, junior early childhood elementary education major from Texarkana, Arkansas
  • Ivy Fry, junior criminal justice major from Pana, Illinois
  • Julia Giesey, freshman psychology major from Rolla, Missouri
  • Alyssa Goth, freshman psychology major from Clinton, Missouri
  • Alicia House, freshman Christian studies major from Sparta, Missouri
  • KiLee Long, senior Christian ministry major from Mountain Home, Arkansas
  • Sammy Poole, senior Christian ministry and recreational administration double major from Battlefield, Missouri
  • Danielle Rhodes, senior Christian ministry major from Ozark, Missouri
  • Corbyn Snodgrass, freshman biblical studies major from Branson, Missouri
  • Aaron Walker, freshman Christian apologetics major from Gentry, Arkansas
  • Austin Wylie, sophomore marriage & family and social work double major from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

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 2019. 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.


04.08.19 – Johnny Cummings


Return to top of page.
White rectangular Hard Work U logo
Hard Work U.®

© 2019 College of the Ozarks® 100 Opportunity Ave. Point Lookout, MO 65726

Main Number: 1.800.222.0525

Keeter Center Opens in a new tab Ralph Foster Museum Opens in a new tab Campus Store Opens in a new tab Lab School (K-12) Opens in a new tab Contact Campusweb Opens in a new tab