Year in Review

[ “Year in Review”  is where you should reflect on the past year and show how you have evolved as a person and as a student.  You may want to focus on your growth in a particular area (as a leader, scholar, researcher, etc.) or you may want to talk about your overall experience over the past year.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]


Having just finished my freshman year of college, I have a lot to reflect on (see more about this in the “Year in Review” section!). One reflection I want to focus on is service to my community. To achieve my required 20 hours of service, I did a small variety of activities, which gave me a chance to try multiple types of service and find what I really enjoy doing. Additionally, some of my service hours included education about pressing issues for communities in need. Overall, I received a good overview of what service can achieve and how one can help others. This will help me when it comes to choosing a long-term service project for next year!

One of the first things I did this year was participating in Community Committment Day. This is an event where many students come to kick the year off on a great note. The huge body of students is then split into groups and sent to various locations around Columbus to help different groups in need. My group was composed entirely of Health Science scholars and we got to go to a local elementary school. As this was before their classes were in session, we didn’t interact with any students, but I’m sure they appreciated the behind-the-scenes work we did helping their teachers. This included everything from reorganizing the teachers’ closets to labeling folders for each individual student. We even got to help decorate a board! Overall, I really enjoyed this service event and will definitely participate in Community Committment again.

Another place I volunteered was the Garden of Hope. This is a garden that is run by the James Cancer Hospital. Patients at the hospital come to get fresh fruits and vegetables. In addition to this, they’re able to enjoy the therapeutic benefits associated with gardening. I’m sure this is a fun place to visit as well as a welcome change of scenery from the hospital. The first time I helped at the Garden of Hope, they were closing up for the winter, so we were winterizing the garden. Our job was to roll up the pieces of fabric that keep out the animals and move them to a shed for storage. The next time I visited was when they were opening up again in the spring. Unsurprisingly, I was doing the exact opposite of the first time. We were taking the fabric and placing it down for the plants. These were hard jobs, but I know that it was worth it to help out the patients and the people that run the garden.

The next service I provided was blanket tying for the James Cancer Hospital. There, they provide each patient with a blanket when they have their first chemotherapy treatment. This is clearly and nice program for the patients, and it’s run by volunteers! While there, my friends and I tied the two halves of the blanket together to make sure it is nice and warm. Each blanket says “covering you with care,” and it’s true! Each blanket is made with love and care for the patients that will eventually receive them.

For the educational aspect of my service hours, I attended both a THIRST presentation and an opioid epidemic summit. Both of these were very informative and helped me understand important topics that I was previously unaware of. The THIRST presentation was about the THIRST project, which works to provide clean drinking water to people that do not have regular access to clean water. They focus their efforts in the Kingdom of eSwatini, which has the highest population-density of HIV/AIDS. Water is crucial to the treatment and management of AIDS. Spreading awareness is an important part of solving the problem, so it is important to seek information about issues around the world.

For a problem closer to home, the opioid epidemic summit focused on the opioid epidemic both in Ohio and the United States. There, they talked about the social, legal, and medical implications of the issue. This was eye opening, as I didn’t fully comprehend the depth of the opioid epidemic or how to solve it. There were many solutions that work toward ending the epidemic presented there. One thing that is used to save people from overdoses is a medication called nalaxone. At the summit, I learned how to administer nalaxone in the case that I find someone who has overdosed. This allows me to potentially save a life and has also given me a new perspective on the opioid epidemic.

Overall, the service that I did this year was very important to me and the people that benefited from it. I’m glad I had the opportunity to help others. In the future, these causes will be close to my heart as I continue to volunteer with them or choose to help other organizations. Of the services I did this year, my favorite was helping out at the school. I hope to go back there and set up a recurring volunteer position.


[Artifacts are the items you consider to be representative of your academic interests and achievements. For each entry, include both an artifact and a detailed annotation.  An annotation includes both a description of the artifact and a reflection on why it is important to you, what you learned, and what it means for your next steps.  For more guidance on using your ePortfolio, including questions and prompts that will help you get started, please visit the Honors & Scholars ePortfolio course in Carmen. To get answers to specific questions, please email Delete these instructions and add your own post.]

About Me

My name is Jane Burke and I am a first year student in the exploration program (my major is undecided). I’m from Wyoming, Ohio, a suburb outside of Cincinnati. In high school, I was involved in sports during my freshman and sophomore years, and continued to stay active in other ways during my last two years. I hope to continue these habits in college by joining fitness clubs and finding some friends to work out with. I plan on going to medical school after graduating from OSU. That being said, my possible majors range from sociology to kinesiology.