HDFS Students

A weeklong human development and family sciences course changed their life

Oregon State students reflect on how an HDFS course shaped their world-view.

Photo by Ismael Paramo on Unsplash

By Hanna Knowles

During a weeklong human development and family sciences course, Oregon State students served unhoused individuals in the Corvallis community.

“The course, HDFS 447 Families and Poverty, always includes 15 hours of community service, and normally students navigate this on their own and at different sites. During the one-week session in the summer, we do all of our community service together and it is coordinated by me,” says Human Services Internship Coordinator Tasha Galardi.

Tasha led participating students through volunteer opportunities at Community Outreach Inc., the Corvallis Daytime Drop-In Center, Room at the Inn Women’s Shelter, and Jackson Street Youth Services. 

“It was my goal to help students better understand the various ways people become unhoused, the barriers to finding permanent housing and the ways local agencies try to support the unhoused community,” Tasha says. “Ultimately, my goal was to cultivate compassion for this population among my students.”

What HDFS students say about the course

“I never knew how much I could learn in a single week. This course has easily been the most rewarding and impactful class I’ve taken in my life.

I am incredibly inspired by the Corvallis organizations we partnered with, but more so by the many people I’ve interacted with.

If I ever questioned my desire to work in human services before, I am no longer unsure. Interacting with the people I did this week was life-changing.”

Sicily Larken, HDFS Major-Human Services Option

“This course is one of the most valuable and educational experiences I will take away from my time at Oregon State University. Growing up in a middle-class household, having enough money for food, education, transportation, health care and daily enjoyments was never in question.

This week provided me with the tools to not be ignorant, recognize when help is needed and to mitigate the stigmatization of those living in poverty.”

Lily Charlton, HDFS Major-General Option

What community organizations say about Oregon State students

“Innovative partnerships across community organizations and diverse groups of folks can be amazingly generative. It was the CDDC’s pleasure to work with Tasha and the HDFS 447 students to support CDDC guests, offer insights and learning experiences, and do some world changing together.”

We hope to continue to collaborate and find creative ways to build bridges across our whole community and break down assumptions, stigma and cultural divides.”

Dr. Allison P. Hobgood, Executive Director, Corvallis Daytime Drop-in Center

How to take HDFS 447: Families and Poverty

HDFS 447: Families and Poverty is an HDFS elective and a Bacc Core – Global Issues (CSGI) course.

Review the course catalogue listing for more details.