Idealism in Action

Leadership, friendship, and service. To some people, these are more than just nice words. They are perspectives which inform actions. Wittenberg University student Mikayla Myers is one of these people. It is no wonder she is the recipient of the 2024 Ping Award.

The award is named in honor of Charles J. Ping, who served as President of Ohio University from 1975-1994. An early supporter and Board Member of Community Campus Coalition, a national nonprofit organization comprised of college and university presidents, Ping has long been an advocate for campus-community partnerships and increased opportunities for students to become engaged citizens. 

In her sophomore year at Wittenberg University, Meyers was elected as service vice president of the co-educational service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.

“This is when I flourished,” she says.

“I began to plan service events for the members of the organization. These events were selected based on what members showed interest in and how they would benefit our community. Some projects included a field day, assisting with the execution of campouts for the Boy Scouts of America, along with various drives for community organizations. 
"These projects have developed my skills in communication and cooperation while growing my desire to lead my peers,” she continued. “As of fall of my junior year at Wittenberg, I was elected president of Alpha Phi Omega because of the characteristics that I displayed during my time as service vice president. Alpha Phi Omega’s pillars [leadership, friendship, service] are important to me as they show that it is an organization for people to grow, and it shows that its members think about how their actions affect the community and others around them.” 
As a volunteer for the Xenia based nonprofit 4 Paws for Ability, which breeds, trains, and places service dogs with children and veterans with disabilities, Myers came to appreciate the significance of removing barriers for people so they can live more productive lives. 

For Alpha Phi Omega, she conducted the first successful National Youth Service Day event since the COVID-19 pandemic. For the event, Witt members traveled to Oesterlen Services for the Youth, a local, faith-based organization that promotes young people’s mental, social, physical, and spiritual well-being, to conduct a field day for the residents. This event was meant to address the social and emotional needs of the residents while challenging what people think they know about the needs of their neighbors. 
Naturally, Myers was elected president of Alpha Phi Omega in the fall of her junior year at Wittenberg 
“As president, I have improved our relationship with the Hagen Center for Civic and Urban Engagement and involved others in supporting the emotional development of children – giving them someone to hang out with and talk to even for a short period of time. My goals have been to continue laying a strong foundation for the future of the organization and motivating my peers to stay committed to our mission. We have been building relationships with our community to further promote our purpose as a service fraternity, and I am working to form relationships that will continue to grow.” 

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