By Michelle Clark
Scholarship, leadership, service, and fellowship – these are the hallmarks and foundation of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the international honor society of two-year colleges. Craven Community College (CCC) is home to the Alpha Phi Nu (APN) chapter of Phi Theta Kappa. During the 2013-2014 academic school year, PTK officers and members took on several community service projects in the spirit of the honor society’s hallmarks.
“By being involved in PTK, I get to give back to the community, and this reminds me of this quote, ‘If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, then you are a great leader.’ by John Quincy Adams,” said Melissa Villa, APN chapter vice president of service and fundraising.
One of the long-running service projects selected by PTK members has benefitted the Craven-Pamlico Animal Services (CPAS) located on Old Airport Road in New Bern, N.C. Many PTK chapter officers and members are animal lovers, and this love of animals led to a strong relationship with this community-based animal rescue facility. “There is so much that needs to be done, and we can only accomplish our goals through partnerships with organizations like CCC’s PTK chapter,” said Trinity Smith, animal control supervisor at CPAS.
Alpha Phi Nu became involved with CPAS in September of 2013 after Elaine Rouse, president of the APN chapter, and Villa attended a town hall meeting that addressed the needs of several local pet rescue facilities. Upon learning that CPAS had not been renovated or remodeled in the past 22 years, the APN officers voted to provide their volunteer and service time to spruce up CPAS. “Operation Spruce-Up” was born.
On Saturday, November 23, 2013, PTK officers, members, and their families assembled on the lawn of CPAS. It was a dreary, cold Saturday morning, but each PTK officer and member showed their determination to beautify the grounds for the public. The success of “Operation Spruce-Up” led to the chapter’s decision to continue providing services to CPAS for the remainder of the academic school year.
Alpha Phi Nu assisted CPAS in painting a mural in their Meet-n-Greet room, the room in which potential adopters can play with potential pets. With the help of instructor Michael Williams and his manufacturing materials class at CCC, APN built and installed new bench seating in the room. “All of the service projects at the animal shelter have put me on a community service path which I believe can, and will, be continued beyond Phi Theta Kappa,” said Rouse.
According to incoming president of the APN chapter, Donald Perryman, the chapter plans to remain working closely with CPAS. Another project with CPAS is the pergola project, which will be completed in the fall. This project is made possible by a generous donation by David and Laura Creech of New Bern.
Michelle Clark is a 2014 Craven Community College honors graduate and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. Clark was the public relations officer for the Alpha Phi Nu Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa during the 2013-2014 academic school year. Her focus was to educate the community about PTK by creating a blog that can be viewed at www.ptkcontactalphaphinu.wordpress.com.
Article originally appeared in the New Bern Sun Journal.