Megan Radenhausen ’14 recognized for outstanding community service
As a member of Centre College’s Bonner program, Megan Radenhausen ’14 is no stranger to community service; however, she took the College’s culture of service to a new level this past fall semester, logging 1,300 hours at Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center (BRCC), a feat which earned her BRCC’s volunteerism commitment award.
BRCC is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide refuge for victims of sexual assault, to advocate for victims and to educate the community about sexual assault and human trafficking. BRCC provides crisis intervention, therapy, advocacy and education services to 17 counties in the Bluegrass Region. All services offered are free of charge, including a 24-hour hotline.
“I heard about BRCC from a fellow Bonner who was volunteering there,” Radenhausen (pictured right during a summer internship in Ghana) explains. “I’ve always been interested in working with different types of abuse, and after she described what she did, I wanted to work there, too. BRCC makes a tremendous impact in our community.”
The award is more than just a recognition of sheer hours spent on-call or at the hospital; it also signals the extra commitment Radenhausen made in the face of scant volunteer help. Rather than allow BRCC to suffer from too few volunteers, Radenhausen stepped up her commitment to cover unfilled shifts, as her 1,300 hours attest.
Radenhausen has devoted herself to this organization in large part due to the people she is helping.
“My favorite experience is knowing that I’m actually able to make a difference for these individual’s during an extremely traumatic experience,” she says, “especially when they don’t have anyone else to be there with them. Their strength really inspires me, and I’m grateful to help out in any way I can.”
The volunteer work has also given the psychology and anthropology/sociology major invaluable experience in the field.
“I’ve gotten practical experience interacting with different individuals who have recently suffered a trauma,” she says. “It’s something you can never learn from a textbook. Seeing how different people cope and being able to lend any kind of support helps me learn ways that I can be most beneficial to the people I am helping. This is particularly useful since I want to work with people who have suffered traumas or abuse.”
And though she is providing a much-needed service to the community, Radenhausen feels she is the one who has benefitted most from her service.
“It really humbles and inspires me to witness different people’s strength in everything that they overcome,” she says. “Working at BRCC has opened my eyes to problems I didn’t previously know existed, and for that I will always be thankful.”
The Bonner Program at Centre College is a network of 60 students on campus (and thousands nationwide) dedicated to alleviating poverty and improving education through active community service and civic engagement. The good work of the Bonner Leaders and Scholars at Centre impacts the community through direct service and advocacy for policy change.
by Mariel Smith
Jan. 16, 2014