The Student News Site of Wofford College

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Sustainable Communities & Growing Passions

As second graders pile into the classroom, the excitement builds. It’s their favorite part of the week: Chef’s Club.

Kate Wolcott ‘24 joined Dr. Alysa Handelsman’s “Building Sustainable Communities Through Engagement” course not knowing what she wanted to do after college. Chef’s Club was just what she needed to figure that out.

“This club shaped my thoughts into wanting to go into social work. (I see) underserved communities, and (do not necessarily) just come in and help them, but (I help) to better their situations and give them tools to solve their own problems,” Wolcott said. “(Chef’s Club) really shaped what I wanted to do.”

Building Sustainable Communities Through Engagement is a part of the Sociology and Anthropology department, and it focuses on teaching students about the realities of life in the Northside community in Spartanburg. It also gives them an opportunity to develop programs in which they can reach out to and interact with that community.

Story continues below advertisement

Chef’s Club is one such program developed from the course, and has provided a place for both Wofford students and local elementary students to find their passion and learn new skills throughout the past four years.

The club partners with local elementary schools to teach students how to cook nutritional meals safely. Wofford students go into the classroom with students and teach about the importance of nutrition and eating healthy, and then teach them how to cook meals that fit into those categories. At the end of the program, the students’ parents are invited to join their chidlren and eat a meal that they cooked for them.

“It is sustainable, which means some stuff does get passed down through the different classes,” Wolcott said. “The kids were really excited about it from previous cohorts, because they know Chef’s Club is coming back, so we definitely want to be a part of it.”

When students join the class, they are given the opportunity to develop their own outreach programs or continue working on projects that have been previously created. When Wolcott and her partner, Chuck Smith ‘24, got put on the Chef’s Club project, they knew the direction they wanted to go with the club due to their mutual interest in health and nutrition.

“We kind of got stuck with it but in the best way possible, and we really wanted to spend time on the nutrition side of it … because he is an athlete at Wofford, and I was a dancer for many years, so that was really important to us,” Wolcott said.

Building Sustainable Communities Through Engagement provides students with the opportunity to build projects based on their own interests that, in turn, help the communities around them. Chef’s Club is not the only program that the class offers as it has sparked many different projects around the Spartanburg community which not only help Wofford students continue their passions but help build a stronger community.

“…there’s a stem club, a leadership club, a girls club, a queens club at Cleveland [Academy of Leadership], an after school program run through Spartanburg housing… and an after school homework help at Macedonian Missionary Church,” Wolcott said.

Each year, Wofford students are given the opportunity to help their community through what they are passionate about, and Chef’s Club is just one of the many ways that students have made an impact on those around them.

tional institution, the goal is always for the students participating in any initiative to learn something to enhance their futures.

Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Wofford College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Old Gold & Black
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal