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Our Purpose

Mission

Students outdoors holding handsThe mission of the Jones Center for Leadership and Service is to educate and engage all students to lead and serve the global community.

Vision

We believe everyone has the ability and responsibility to engage in leadership as a process, advocate for social justice, and better the world.

It is our sincere hope that this vision is reflective of our commitment to leadership and service being shared goals and experiences at The University of Tennessee, and that we are all teachers, learners and participants in this process. Leadership and Service cannot only “live” in one office or area of campus- we hope to help lead a shared commitment to providing collaborative opportunities that will enrich a campus culture of leadership and service that will in turn change the world.

Values

The Jones Center for Leadership and Service is guided in mission, spirit, and action by the following core values:

  • Authenticity – showing up as our true selves and share space with others in an authentic way
  • Community – seeking to bring together and unite individuals through a common purpose
  • Integrity – seeking to discern what is right and act accordingly and authentically
  • Inclusion – creating an environment where all are welcome
  • Learning – utilizing every experience as an opportunity to expand, develop, and reflect upon knowledge and practice
  • Positive Impact – In collaboration with others, building relationships to create experiences that better communities (Komives, Wagner, & Associate, 2009)
  • Social Justice – Believing that it is important to understand that there is an inequitable distribution of social power within society resulting in advantages for some and disadvantages for others and that working toward an equitable distribution of social power creates a more fair and just society (Seemiller, 2014).
  • Volunteer Creed – “One that beareth a torch shadoweth oneself to give light to others.”

Learning Outcomes

Through participation and involvement in the Jones Center for Leadership and Service, students will be able to…

  • recognize that considering perspectives other than their own will lead to better outcomes and relationships;
  • reflect on experiences to learn and shape their future actions;
  • recognize one’s own leadership style, beliefs, and values;
  • explain the importance of voluntarily serving others to create and maintain a thriving community;
  • identify strategies to work with others toward a common objective through the sharing of ideas and distribution of responsibilities across groups;
  • Understand the importance of exposure to people of different backgrounds; identities, beliefs, or experiences and including them in communities, roles, and processes;
  • effectively communicate verbally with others one on one and in groups;
  • take responsibility for one’s own behavior by admitting mistakes, apologizing, rectifying the situation, and accepting the consequences of one’s actions.

One Campus. One Community. Celebrate the Differences.

The Jones Center for Leadership and Service is dedicated to facilitating meaningful experiences that expose students to diverse cultures through community involvement in a broad array of activities that extend learning, foster leadership skills, and promote civic responsibility. We strive to promote a culture of inclusion and a community where diverse opinions, backgrounds, and practices have the opportunity to be voiced, heard, and respected. We are a welcoming, safe, affirming, and nurturing environment based upon cherishing the dignity of each individual. As an office, we celebrate individuals who represent different groups as defined by race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, age, disability, national origin and religion.

We hope you will join us.

Commitment

As we work to educate and engage all students to lead and serve in a global community, we are committed to providing experiences that are either free or at cost with scholarship options for all participants. As part of that commitment, we absorb most participant expenses for food, transportation, supplies, housing, etc. To provide leadership and service experiences for as many students as possible, we recover these costs for students who fail to attend by assessing a financial hold. Learn more about this policy.