April 1, 2024

A Milestone of Servant Leadership at Palm Beach Atlantic University

workship program volunteers

Heart & Soul

This April, Palm Beach Atlantic University (PBA) marks a pivotal moment in our institution’s history – the achievement of four million service hours through our distinguished Workship program. It would seem almost as if it were by divine design that we mark this milestone in the same month we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week across the U.S.—how symbolic!

Founded in 1968 by Dr. Jess Moody and his wife, Doris, Workship has been a pillar of our curricula at PBA, connecting the act of worship with the commitment to serve. The program mandates each undergraduate to dedicate at least 45 hours annually to volunteer efforts, fostering an environment where giving back is not an option but a way of life, with many of our students surpassing the annual requirements.

Our students have and continue to touch lives locally and globally, even after leaving PBA. From tutoring young learners and aiding hurricane recovery efforts to engaging with inner-city youth, meal packing and supporting healthcare initiatives, they have led the way in service that has allowed us to collaborate with over 200 organizations across Palm Beach County and beyond. As we reflect on this legacy, we are humbled and blessed to know that the ethos of servant leadership has been embedded in the hearts of our students—shaping them into compassionate leaders.

We recently honored Bailey Hughes, a PBA alumna who graduated in 2013 and epitomizes the transformative power of Workship. After graduating, Hughes got married, and she and her husband found themselves drawn to foster care and adoption. Soon after obtaining their foster care license, their house became a revolving door of sorts. Over five years, they fostered 23 children – four of whom they adopted. Her journey from a curious newcomer to PBA from Iowa to a devoted advocate for foster care and adoption underscores the profound personal and societal impact of engaging in meaningful service, which she learned at PBA.

Cash Lambert is a 2014 alumnus who, after volunteering through Workship with a group called Surfers for Autism, learned about the therapeutic approach of surfing for children with special needs. Honing what he has learned, Cash is now an established author. In 2019, he wrote his first book, “Waves of Healing,” which was published internationally. Cash recently wrote a sequel to that book on the therapeutic benefits for a wide range of people.

What is also impactful is that our students don’t wait until they leave PBA to practice servant leadership. This is reflected in the remarkable efforts of AnnaMae and Claire Predtechenskis. AnnaMae and Claire, nursing students at PBA, are providing care and sanctuary for a non-verbal and autistic young woman from Israel who needed a safe haven from war, illustrate the boundless potential of servant leadership to cross borders and change lives.

These stories, and countless others, demonstrate the impact that each of us can have on our community. These are critical principles that we emulate for our students, who are the future leaders of our community and the world. Even as we celebrate this significant achievement, it is crucial to remember that our work does not end here. The essence of servant leadership, as exemplified by Jesus Christ, calls us to continually seek ways to respond to the needs around us with empathy, action and humility.

This commitment to doing more is what drives PBA forward. As we mark this milestone, we renew our dedication to fostering a culture of service that transcends the boundaries of our university and reaches into the heart of humanity. Our journey of service is an ongoing testament to our faith, a reflection of our values and a bridge to a future where every member of the PBA community is a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change. Together, we can embody the change we wish to see in the world.

To celebrate this milestone of Workship reaching 4 million hours served, please join us for a special chapel service on Wednesday, April 10 at 11 a.m. at Family Church Downtown. We would love to see you there.

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