Service Star

Each year, the offices of First Year Programs and Service-Learning honor a Service Star from among the first year students: the student who has earned the most service hours during the course of their first year at Warren Wilson College.


Derek Roy accumulated over 115 service hours during the first semester of his first year at Warren Wilson. He volunteered with a variety of organizations, such as Food Not Bombs, Room in the Inn, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. What makes this an even more remarkable accomplishment is that Derek took on a 20-hour work contract, rather than the standard 15, while managing his time well enough to participate in so many service activities.

Derek encourages all students, but especially first year students, to stop by the Service-Learning Office in order to find opportunities that fit into their work and academic schedules. Also, he recommends that students forge strong relationships with faculty and staff members who can help motivate and inspire them. Derek built a strong relationship with his First Year Seminar instructor, Kathryn Burleson, who integrated service into that course. "Her classes have allowed me to connect my classroom learning experience with service experiences," Derek said.


First year student Phil Hamilton mastered the art of balancing work, academics, and service during his short time at Warren Wilson College. Nearing the end of his first semester at Wilson, he completed 83.25 service hours. Phil embodies the ideals of Warren Wilson College: he does service not to meet a graduation requirement, but because it is the right thing to do. 

dec star

How did the hours add up?

10 hours of working with mentally disabled patients at Black Mountain Center

39.5 hours on a Fall Break trip that included

6 hours tutoring and mentoring at the YWCA and Partners Unlimited programs in Asheville

9.25 hours socializing with homeless women in the Room in the Inn traveling women’s shelter

6 hours Service Day at Carrier Park

5.5 hours First Year Seminar service trip to Windhorse Zen Community Center

7 hours working on houses for Habitat for Humanity