Sarah Hardner, a senior at Allegheny College, has contributed exemplary service to Allegheny's campus and to the Meadville community during the past three years. She has been a Peer Project Leader—a student liaison to Bethesda Children's Home where she has recruited, trained and supported volunteers to work with at-risk youth. She coordinates weekly game days, holiday celebrations and even recruited a student to give singing lessons to interested youth. Hardner was elected by her peers to the position of Peer Project Leader Connections Chair last year and served as the link between the "PPL's" and the growing service movement at Allegheny.
Highly active in the Allegheny Service Network (ASN), Hardner has been instrumental in assisting this campus group redefine its mission and structure to better support Allegheny students, administrators and faculty with service endeavors. She was an executive officer last year and was one of the primary leaders in this organization's transition from a contained group to a campus network. A recent example of an ASN community service project that shows her commitment to educating others about human needs is the Hurricane Mitch Disaster Relief Project. Between November 10 and December 5, 1998, a committee formed and mobilized the campus to collect 2,972 pounds of staple foods. Hardner was one of four ASN students who dedicated a great deal of time and effort to make this project a reality. Additionally, she creates the ASN newsletter, which is distributed after each meeting.
Hardner has also served in many other voluntary leadership service roles throughout her years at Allegheny. In March of 1998, she was selected as a student leader for a weeklong Alternative Spring Break Trip in Atlanta, where she co-led 15 other students in service and reflection activities at Decatur Cooperative Ministry, an organization which works with hunger and homelessness issues. Last year, Hardner was the Committee Chair for the March Month of Service Youth and Elderly Week, which organized 12 events at nine different service agencies, including a Panel on Youth Pregnancy issues in Crawford County. She and four other students went on to present a workshop entitled From Our Campus to Yours: A Month of Service at the 1997 Pennsylvania Campus Compact Annual Conference.
As a result of her experience in and "heart" for service, Hardner was actively recruited by the Director of Community Service to serve as the Student Leader Support Coordinator for the 1998-1999 year. Currently, she visits PPL and AmeriCorps sites and serves as a resource and motivator for these student leaders.