Students Create Community Service Project

News From Tulsa Tech By DR. STEVE TIGER

SEWING SKILLS: Tulsa Tech Apparel Design students, from left, Malorie Allen, Krista Eldridge, Makayla Meese, Madeline Bartlett, Brianna Thompson and Edgar Soto, recently visited Skelly Elementary School to teach fourth-graders basic sewing skills.

Courtesy Tulsa Tech

Tulsa Tech’s Apparel Design students develop professional sewing skills and learn artistic design techniques required to produce unique clothing and accessories. Students are given opportunities to apply their skills in color theory, sketching and fashion design as they build a portfolio showcasing their individual styles. One lesson included in this class, however, seems to always be in style: the importance of giving back to the community.

Karin Davis, Apparel Design instructor, strongly supports student involvement in community service projects, as members of Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA), one of the many student organizations available at Tulsa Tech.

“Students have so many distractions these days,” Davis says. “These skills, which are so important to family and our community, often get overlooked. But, once students become involved in a community service project and begin to realize how helping others is also helping themselves, they begin to develop an understanding of FCCLA’s mission and goal.”

FCCLA is a nonprofit national career and technical student organization for young men and women in Family and Consumer Sciences education through grade 12. Over 200,000 members in more than 5,500 chapters are active in a network of associations in 50 states, with chapter projects focused on a variety of youth concerns, including parenting, family relationships and career exploration.

“I love it when my students have the opportunity to do volunteer work in our community,” says Davis. “Not only do they learn the skills used to help others, but these activities often allow students to participate in things they may have never experienced before”-like teaching fourth grade students at Tulsa Public Schools Skelly Elementary the basic skills of sewing, a unique community service project designed by classmates Madeline Bartlett, a Union High School junior, and Makayla Meese, a junior at Glenpool High School.

“I feel it’s important to help others whenever you can,” Bartlett says. “Projects like these not only help other people but they can help you decide what type of work you really enjoy.”

Sewing is certainly a skill that can be useful to everyone at times; yet, there is much more going on with these types of dedicated community service efforts. High school students are given a chance to mentor elementary students, provide encouragement and applaud individual accomplishments, a process that brings many positive benefits to everyone involved.

“We are all humans and social creatures, and we benefit from the time we spend in positive environments,” Meese says. “The activity or project is also about spending time together and sharing with others.”

Their simple but effective idea not only offered a chance to experience the teaching side of the educational process but given the number of elementary children involved, also provided an opportunity for other Apparel Design students to participate. Brianna Thompson, a junior at Union, enjoyed working with the younger students and feels like at one time or another, everyone has been a teacher, as well as a student.

“I enjoy helping people, especially if I know how to do something and they don’t,” Thompson says. “It doesn’t take much time to share my knowledge, and who knows, maybe next time it will be someone helping or teaching me.”

Each of these Apparel Design students are making their own path at Tulsa Tech, and thanks to instructors like Davis, demonstrating how it will always be in fashion to help others.

If you’re currently looking for quality business and industry training, exciting classes for high school students, or wish to design your own life-changing career, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call 918-828-5000, or visit us online at

Updated 01-25-2016

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