As an Educational Studies major who has engaged in multiple community service projects through his home church in Orlando, FL, Austin Dier ’14 is in just the right place working at New Life Christian School (NLCS) this summer. New Life Christian School began operating as a school in 1983. Its mission is to ensure a Christ centered environment for integrating faith with learning through critical thinking, the development of interpersonal skills, community outreach, athletics, and the arts. NLCS also serves parents by guiding children toward a life of responsive Christian discipleship. The school currently enrolls about 80 pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade students.
Austin is working on a number of projects to help support the growth of NLCS and its Board of Education. His first project, which involves reviewing, revising, and making recommendations for the school’s emergency plan, is already well underway. Austin and his supervisor, Pastor Todd Slabaugh, Principal of NLCS, will meet with the Sheriff’s Department in the coming weeks to go over and strengthen the emergency plan. He is also compiling a number of documents to support the NLCS Board of Education’s development of a new 10-15 year strategic plan. Because Austin’s work as a Field School fellow is focused primarily on long-term capacity-building within NLCS, he began creating a database of foundations that the school will be able to utilize as possible funding resources last week, as well.
This is Austin’s first summer as a Field School Fellow. He applied because he “wanted to get more engaged with members of our community.” Austin has always been interested in non-profits and believes his work with NLCS “will help improve our community.” Even though everyday has been different so far, the warmth of his co-workers and the family-like feel of NLCS is a steady constant. Austin particularly enjoys interacting with the students at NLCS, who are currently finishing up the semester.
Austin, along with the other 23 Field School fellows, will be updating and creating comprehensive social media plans for the organizations in which they’re serving this summer, so check out each organization’s Facebook page to learn about their incredible work when you have a moment!