Dash Corps is a foundational leadership and civic action program for first year students. The project based program pairs student groups with non-profit and civic organizations for a yearlong exposure to theory and practice related to community development. Participants in Dash Corps learn about civic identity, social action, and how to make positive change on their local community. Projects are selected by the Dash Corps leadership team based on proposals submitted from community organizations.
In the fall semester, a new cohort of first year students applies to participate in the program. The fall curriculum includes learning about Asset Based Community Development, social identity, non-profit management, and special topics related to each individual project. Starting in January, the student teams engage in experiential learning putting their knowledge to the test as they take on a semester long capacity building project. Past projects have included developing a computer lab for Samaritan Ministries, evaluating app based options for an online client success coach with Experiment in Self Reliance, and expanding the reach of the Yadkin River Keeper to under reached communities and neighborhoods in Winston Salem.
Throughout the program first year students are paired with upperclassmen leaders to guide the projects. The program culminates with a presentation on their work to community partners, students, faculty, staff and invited guests. The program offers students an opportunity to engage with the Winston-Salem community, and leads to fruitful relationships with community partners. First year students have an opportunity to return as leaders or directors in Dash Corps to deepen their engagement with their non-profit partners.
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