Ben Mitchell grew up in a devout household in the central Upper Peninsula of Michigan where emphasis was placed on helping others.
He traveled with his father to places such as Kenya and Peru on short-term medical missions. When he was in Kenya, a missionary explained that engineers have the greatest potential to influence the largest number of people. During high school, Ben participated in a youth mission trip to Tijuana. A result of the mission trips, his family decided to adopt three Vietnamese children when he was a junior.
All of these experiences had a great influence on Ben’s outlook on life. He decided to major in mechanical engineering and enrolled at Lake Superior State University. Near the end of his senior year, he decided to volunteer for the Peace Corps to help others.
His two-year commitment began in the fall of 2007 and took Ben to Burkina Faso in western Africa. He resides in the village of Tansila, population 3,000, approximately 10 km from the Mali border. His host organization is the local cotton growers union. It works cooperatively with other villages to improve and expand their production techniques. He serves as an agribusiness advisor as a part of the Small Enterprise Development program which helps create market linkages and assists with the advancement of business skills.
Our mission is to provide quality education that
inspires every student to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to
succeed and achieve academic and personal excellence.
Community Service is Part of Our Mission:
Improving Ourselves for Our Community,
Improving Our Community for Ourselves.
Community Service is an important part of WSC Academy’s design, so important that we created the
Community Service Pledge. But without action, a pledge is only words.
This school year WSC Academy Brighton put on a Week of Caring, which included students volunteering
their time to several area organizations: Meals on Wheels, Gleaners, and Be Our Guest Adult Day Care.
Additionally, Brighton’s Project Based Learning students created a video for submission to the Livingston
County United Way’s Campaign Video Competition.
WSC Academy Ypsilanti developed three separate Community Service initiatives: a Reading Buddies program
for one-on-one reading with kindergarten students at the nearby Perry Early Learning Center, a Pennies for
Patients drive to cure Lymphoma and Leukemia, and a Toilet Paper Drive for the nearby Hope Center pantry.
The Reading Buddies program resulted in over 130 hours of one-on-one reading, utilizing more than thirty
high school students. Our students created a coloring book that detailed the progress of the reading program
and presented them to the kindergarten students at Perry Early Education Center. High school students who
mentored these young children discovered how much they had in common, and both groups of students had a
hard time saying goodbye at the end of the program.
The Pennies for Patients Drive raised over 250 dollars to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma and resulted in our
school being rewarded with proclamations and a gift of pizzas for the entire student body for our outsized
generosity. As the Campaign Coordinator of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society wrote to us, “$250!
WOW! That’s so generous of your small school community! Thank you so much for your support to end
blood cancers. We appreciate all you do!” WSC Academy is determined to double our total in next year’s
Families who need assistance are not allowed to
buy toilet paper with their Bridge Cards. To help
fill the need, and to have a light-hearted program,
we decided to make a collection. Our Toilet Paper
Drive for the HOPE Center (“Help Wipe Out HOPElessness”)
was extremely successful, collecting over
235 rolls for the community pantry, and resulting in
our students being featured in a publicity photo for
the Hope Center to be shared on their website. The
HOPE Center has asked us to hold two drives next
The Corporation for National and Community
Service says, “Service-learning enhances students’
valuable academic skills, including communication,
team-building, and critical thinking; builds their selfesteem;
and develops their sense of responsibility for
decision-making.” We at WSC Academy believe that
community service is part of what we do, because
community service is authentic learning.
Tom Pare’, Dean of Education
A Great Place...
Communication Mt. Pleasant, MI
My favorite thing about LSSU is the diversity of people you can find, despite the fact that it's a small campus! [ more ]