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Service Leadership Program

The Defiance College Service Leadership program causes students to develop the knowledge and capacity to be civically engaged. Monthly meetings are focused on projects that address Defiance community needs and understanding them. This program provides opportunities for students to apply academic skills and knowledge in real-world contexts through service for the betterment of our local and regional communities. As a result, students gain valuable leadership and career readiness skills and develop an understanding of their place as civically-engaged leaders in their communities.


Each service leader is required to complete 100 hours of service per academic year to retain good standing in the program and for the renewal of their scholarship. In addition, service leaders will attend monthly all-class meetings and regular small group meetings for information about community needs, service opportunities, campus service project planning, and community partner presentations.

7 students posing in a work site and smiling at the camera


We offer a $1,500 renewable scholarship to applicants who demonstrate a record of service in their communities and who fulfill the requirements of the Service Leadership program once they are enrolled at the College. Every year, up to 25 incoming students with a passion for service and leadership are awarded this scholarship to continue their commitment to service while studying at Defiance College.

six students dressed in work gear and hard hats standing in front of a construction site

Agencies Service Leaders have worked with include:

Independence Education Center
Defiance City Schools
Defiance Dream Center
United Way
Kaitlyn's Cottage
Night to Shine
Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio
Defiance Regional Medical Center
Defiance Mercy Clinic
Defiance and Paulding Job and Family Services
American Red Cross
Grant Insurance
Noble Elementary School
Mercy Children's Miracle Network
Dupont Church of the Brethren
St. John United Church of Christ
Defiance Christian Church
Defiance Area YMCA

"The Service Leadership Program was an instrumental part of my success at Defiance College. Not only did it help me, through its various opportunities, to hone skills such as effective time management, communication, and collaboration, but it also served as a constant reminder to give of myself to help others. Perhaps the most lasting effect of this program on my life is the life-long friendships I have made with my fellow service leaders. These friends have been my inspiration and encouragement, and helped me feel a part of a family and community when I was so far away from my own."
--Cormack Lazarus '16

"As a service leader for four years and collecting over 2,000 service hours, I was able to grow into and feel confident in my leadership potential while impacting the local Defiance community. After graduating from DC I moved to Virginia and began working at a non-profit. Immediately I've been able to take the skills the service leadership program equipped me with to begin making a difference in my new home community. Being a service leader gave me a safe and comfortable place to try new things, meet new people, and reaffirm my passion for community development. As I begin forging a new path for myself as a working adult, I hope to continue volunteering for local organizations and maybe even helping high school and college students enjoy leadership development the same way I have."
--Dava Donaldson '16


Bridgette Winslow
Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

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