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  • Sehie Olivia Koh, University of Detroit Mercy, Christ Child House, Boys 2 Men, education, philanthropy
    Sehie Olivia Koh, University of Detroit Mercy, Christ Child House, Boys 2 Men, education, philanthropy
  • Dearborn, Mich. — Now, amidst personalization of mortarboards, planning graduation parties, many students on the cusp of graduation dream of their future and plan to make their mark on the world.

    But some students are already making the world kinder, more inclusive and their legacy reaches beyond their circle of friends.

    Leadership beyond the classroom

    The University of Detroit Mercy is showcasing a four-part profile of Sehie Olivia Koh.

    Numerous Ford Blue Oval Scholars are graduating from high school and even more from colleges and universities. During four to eight years of scholastic enrichment, they spent hundreds of hours enriching their communities.

    University of Detroit Mercy’s 2017 valedictorian, Sehie Olivia Koh not only acts on her desire to work with children, she is leaving those children, her soon-to-be alma mater, and her undergraduate classmates a legacy.

    Koh enjoyed volunteering with the Christ Child House youths so much she continued after meeting the required hours for her Leadership minor. In fact, her enthusiasm for the non-profit is so strong she began recruiting students she worked beside in professional and service groups with the goal that each of the 6-16 year-old boys would have a mentor.

    “I want our volunteers to listen to them, hear them out, and whole-heartedly be there for them. Just give the boys that time while they are there,” Koh recently told www.udmercy.edu.

    She founded the Boys 2 Men project for Detroit Mercy students to volunteer in Christ Child House, an orphanage for boys. This 2016-17 school year saw 300-400 UD Mercy students volunteering. The 12-week program, including tutoring and an award dinner, was just the beginning.

    Koh’s resident advisor encouraged her to take her passion project, that now included a successful fundraising fashion show, through the application process for inclusion in the Ford Community Corps Partnerships.

    The FCCP requires incorporation of service learning into a class. Koh targeted five Chemistry courses, a department for which it can be difficult to accumulate service hours, necessary for graduation. Boys 2 Men doesn’t stop with the chemistry department. During Career Day the doors opened for inclusion of additional UDM disciplines to join the project, thereby securing Koh’s legacy and the futures of the Boys 2 Men students.