Texas A&M University-Central Texas

Texas A&M University-Central Texas students, from left, are Phillip Burns, Jo Marie Gemlich, Carolyn Rogers, Chantel Johnson, Carol Queen and Ditra Coleman.

Courtesy photo

When classes started at East Ward Elementary School, the students and teachers saw a welcome sight — Texas A&M University-Central Texas Social Work professor, Claudia Rappaprt, and six social work students, in a caravan of four cars, delivering school supplies to one of Killeen’s neediest schools.

“Every year the supply drive is more successful than the year before. We are gratified to be able to provide such tangible assistance to this school,” Rappaprt said.

Members of a social work honor society, Phi Alpha students Phillip Burns, Chantel Johnson, Cynthia Rogers, Jo Marie Gemlich, Ditra Coleman, and Carol Queen spend the summer collecting supplies and raising money to provide for the children whose families cannot afford them.

But their generosity didn’t stop there. Phillip Burns, a member of Phi Alpha, donated 1,000 spiral notebooks and a check for $1,000 from the Burns HELP Foundation, to Principal Norma Baker to go toward whatever other supplies might be needed for the kids.

And while neither Rappaport nor her students commit to acts of kindness for the notoriety, the good works have not been overlooked.

Their Phi Alpha Honor Society is nationally recognized for its continuous commitment to community service, receiving the 2017 Program of the Year Distinguished Leadership and Service Award from the National Phi Alpha organization — one of only four awards made nationally.

In fact, they have won the award for the past 10 years consecutively.

Michael Daley, Social Work Department chair, applauds his students, but recognizes the source of these good works, saying that Rappaport, the adviser to the honor society has been recognized as national Adviser of the Year multiple times.

“We are fortunate in social work to have such a strong advisor and a group of students who are so committed to making a difference in our community,” Daley said.

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