Making a difference in Rock County
Daniel Mrzena’23 supported the development of a transitional living project for Rock County in a year-long internship.
Daniel spent his senior year working with Family Services of Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois in Beloit, Wisconsin to advance a plan to build an 18-unit apartment building with a 79-unit childcare center to support families transitioning toward stable housing and self-sufficiency. In this opportunity made available through the Duffy Community Partnership program, Daniel worked with a diverse group of partners in Beloit, advocated for $6 million of public and private funding, supported the purchase of a retired elementary school and organized with volunteers to clean the property.
Daniel’s experience shows that it was more than just an internship; it was a true community partnership, coupled with deep and personalized mentorship at Beloit College. Daniel had a cohort of peers in the Duffy Community Partnership Program, each placed at other sites in the community. Through weekly class meetings and written field notes, student peers learned from each other and from the sociological literature. Close mentorship from Professor Carol Wickersham ensured that Daniel and other students had the support they needed to learn, grow, reflect, and be successful with their work.
At the 2023 Beloit College Student Research Symposium, Daniel presented his work over the last year, and shared his reflections on community-based learning. “I learned what makes a good society. Community.”