Written by Sarah Shelley | Content Development Specialist

The recent Opening Engage 2023 event on University of the Cumberlands’ campus featured Kevin Singleton, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and philanthropist. Singleton founded Elevate New York, a non-profit program that helps urban youth thrive through mentorships, team building amongst peers, training toward academic excellence, and career-readiness events.

The annual Opening Engage event features an inspirational speaker and starts off the UC Engage program on campus. UC Engage is a service-based initiative required for all full-time students through their junior year. Students receive credit hours toward graduation through UC Engage. The initiative seeks to foster leadership through service as part of an education that nurtures critical and creative thinking.

During his speech at the event, Kevin Singleton explained how support from the essential people in his life enabled him to serve his community. With this support, he created a program that helped students succeed in urban schools. Kevin encouraged Cumberlands students to find a support system of people who will encourage them in their journey, and for students to find a place to serve in their community. 

The UC Engage program hosts service events a few times a year and has ongoing partnerships with local non-profits that offer UC students regular community service opportunities throughout the year.

The next UC Engage event is the annual Shoes 4 the Soul event, occurring Friday, September 15th, in the O. Wayne Rollins Center. The event will be hosted in the Randy Vernon gymnasium. Shoes 4 the Soul serves children in the community by sharing the Gospel, washing the children’s feet (mirroring how Jesus Christ washed his disciples’ feet the night before his crucifixion), and providing the schoolchildren with some basic needs like new socks, shoes, and hygiene items. There is still time to sponsor a child at Shoes 4 the Soul; visit www.ucumberlands.edu/shoes4soul/give to learn more.

For more details about Cumberland’s community service, and to sign up to help with Shoes for the Soul, visit www.ucumberlands.edu/pats-serve.