Honors College Office of the Provost

k(no)w poverty? Week of Service | 2016



k(no)w poverty? Week of Service Image Gallery | 2016


Week of Service Video Recap 2016

About the Week of Service

– Open to first 50 registrants | Incoming Honors freshman

– Lectures, films & service

– Three (3) days of service

– Participants will earn class credit for Honors Participation through (HONR 1087) Honors Hands-on Service & Service Learning.

– No fee to participate. Includes t-shirt, lunches, welcome dinner, two breakfasts, transportation, and supplies.

– $90 Early Housing fee for on campus move-ins on Friday, August 5, 2016 |  Please see Housing Section

Anyone who is not able to afford this fee and has documented need can contact Ken Thomas via email.

– Optional activities included to meet students before and during program.

What you will learn:

  • You will be more aware of the persistence of poverty in Alabama and especially in the Auburn-Opelika area
  • After this week you should be able to articulate the root causes of poverty and the propagation of the cycle of poverty
  • You will have a clearer idea of how intentional service can help to alleviate poverty – directly or indirectly
  • You will be more aware of opportunities to serve in the Auburn-Opelika area while being an Honors students at Auburn University


“I loved it . It honestly opened my eyes to the poverty I am surrounded by living in Alabama.”

“It was super amazing and really enlightening!”

“It opened my eyes up so much and all the people involved were so real and welcoming. I was really not excited about it starting the week, but after the first day I was so excited. It has inspired me to want to work with several service based organizations on campus, and it showed me the importance of volunteers in the community.”

“I really enjoyed the Week of Service. It far exceeded my expectations. I am so glad that I participated in the Week of Service.”

“The Week of Service was an extremely rewarding experience.”

“The Week of Service was absolutely amazing. I made friends, gained knowledge about poverty, and had tons of fun. Also, the counselors were wonderful. Thank you!”

“This is a great opportunity to get to know new people in the honors college, learn about the nature of poverty in the United States and what you personally can do about it, and serve others in the local Auburn community.”

(Testimonials received from anonymous participant survey)

Meet Our 2016 Counselors

Head Counselors

Headshot of Jessica Knezha

Jessica Knezha

I expect this week of service to be enlightening for the students about themselves and their community.”

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

Major: Software Engineering
Minor: Theater

Interests/Hobbies: Making movies, jewelry making and playing violin

Headshot of Hailee Walls

Hailee Walls

I’m so excited to be part of so many freshmen’s first college experience!”

Hometown: Elkmont, Alabama

Majors: Agricultural Communication and Spanish
Minor: International Human Sciences

Interests/Hobbies:Working, reading nonfiction books on philosophy and psychology, writing and traveling


Headshot of Becky Martin

Becky Martin

 I cannot wait to see how the week of service impacts you (the freshmen) by building new friendships and giving back to the Auburn community.”

Hometown: Thiensville, Wisconsin

Major: Biomedical Sciences
Minor:Community and Civic Engagement

Interests/Hobbies: Serving, running, baking and being outside

Headshot of Mary Berkstresser width=

Mary Berkstresser

The Week of Service was one of the best things I have ever done. I met a lot of really great people and had a ton of fun!”

Hometown: Slapout, Alabama

Major: Natural Resources Management
Minor:Nature Based Recreation

Interests/Hobbies: I really love reading. I have a dog named Charlie, and we love to take walks around the pond.

Headshot of Carter Williams

Carter Williams

I hope that this year’s K(no)w Poverty Week of Service is an opportunity for students to get connected with the Honors Community and to experience various ways to serve in the area that we will call home during our college years.”

Hometown: Mobile, Alabama

Major: Electrical Engineering

Interests/Hobbies: Boating, golf and Auburn Athletics

Headshot of Alex Dobbins

Alex Dobbins

I fully expect this Week of Service to be extremely beneficial for each person involved, from learning about the prevalence of local poverty and its solution to making lifelong friends. See y’all soon and War Eagle!”

Hometown: Hartselle, Alabama

Major: Biomedical Sciences
Minor: Hunger Studies

Interests/Hobbies: Playing with dogs, running, reading and traveling in my spare time.

Headshot of Sydney Sneed

Sydney Sneed

So excited for the opportunity to work with the other counsellors and our 50 incredible freshmen as we serve Auburn’s beautiful community!”

Hometown: Hartselle, Alabama

Majors: Exercise Science and Spanish

Interests/Hobbies: Running, cooking, reading, hiking with friends at Chewacla and playing with puppies at Lee County Humane Society


Week of Service Coordinator headshot Jill Thackston

Jill Thackston

I think the upcoming Week of Service will be a great way for the incoming class to really get involved with their new community and will make their transition into college so much easier by meeting new people and making connections into other organizations!”

Hometown: Collierville, Tennessee

Major: Pre-Business

Interests/Hobbies: Spending time volunteering at the local Humane Society and even fostering for them

Headshot of Brytni Emison

Brytni Emison

Friendships I made with fellow Week of Service participants, and hope to facilitate this year, which ultimately have helped usher me into the Auburn family, have supported my intellectual, social, and academic life at Auburn. I hope to facilitate a positive intellectual environment that allows for friendships to be made with like-minded students this year that can continue their k(no)w poverty? experience into the academic year and beyond.”

Hometown: Melbourne, Florida

Majors: Political Science and Public Relations

Interests/Hobbies: Soccer

Week of Service Coordinator headshot Carly Westmoreland

Carly Westmoreland

I am very excited to find out where this year’s events will take place and how many people it will impact. Have done so much research on poverty since the 2015 Week of Service, and I would really love to have more opportunities to make a difference.”

Hometown: Addison, Alabama

Major: Biomedical Sciences / Pre-Med

Interests/Hobbies: Service, music and volleyball

Headshot of Alex Koda

Alex Koda

I hope that the 2016 WoS changes lives just like it changed mine.”

Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama

Major: Conservation and Biodiversity

Interests/Hobbies: Karate and being outdoors

Meet our 2016 Organization Partners


Alabama Rural Ministry

Salvation Army

Food Bank of East Alabama

Jean Dean RIF


Alabama Possible

Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Auburn University College of Liberal Arts

Alabama Rural Health Association

Center For Ethics and Social Responsibility at the University of Alabama

Auburn University Division of Student Affairs

Agenda | August 2016

(Agenda items are subject to change)

Friday | August 5 (optional day)

Early move-in (by appointment)

Meet & greet

Saturday |  August 6 (optional day)

Outdoor Fun & Games at Chewacla State Park

Late Night movie

Sunday | August 7


Scavenger Hunt icebreaker

Introductory dinner

Educational film

Late Night Sand Volleyball (optional)

Late Night Snack Chat (optional)

Monday | August 8

Official welcome

Guest lectures

Half day of service

Educational film

Late Night Board Games (optional)

Late Night Movie (optional)

Tuesday | August 9

Half Day of Service

Poverty Simulation

Late Night Outdoor Games (optional)

Late Night Movie (optional)

Wednesday | August 10

Full day of service

Educational Film

Late Night Board Games (optional)

Late Night Educational Film (optional)

Thursday | August 11

Full day of service

Dinner & Reflection

Educational Film

Late Night Karaoke (optional)

Friday | August 12

Guest lectures, reflection & farewell

Afternoon service (optional)

Movie trip to Carmike Cinema (optional)

Items to pack for your Week of Service

Work gloves

Refillable water bottle


Bug spray

Work clothes

Closed-toe shoes

Move-In Information

The first optional activity starts at 5 pm on August 5th.

Please do not feel rushed; there will be plenty of time to move in and get settled into your room.

Last modified: May 23, 2019