For the second semester this year, Dr. Omid Sabbaghi, an Associate Professional of Finance at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), has selected Operation HOPE as the nonprofit organization with whom 59 undergraduate and graduate Finance students must volunteer in order to complete the service-learning component in his course requirements.

During the fall term, the 59 UDM students will conduct Banking on Our Future sessions for students attending Spain Elementary-Middle School and John R King Academy in Detroit, Michigan.

The University of Detroit Mercy is an urban school in the traditions of the Jesuits and Sisters of Mercy. Service-learning, in line with these traditions, is a method of teaching that engages students in direct service as an essential part of the course to help meet its learning objectives.

According to historical accounts, Catherine McAuley and Ignatius of Loyola, the Mercy and Jesuit founders, knew that people are changed by service that puts them in the company of those who lack what they have.

UDM believes that encouraging students to participate in service-learning projects introduces these individuals to their real selves. It is the vision of the University of Detroit Mercy to produce graduates who lead and serve in their communities. Service-Learning engages students in the University’s Mission. Michele Hurst Burton, Senior Program Manager for Operation HOPE’s Detroit office, is an UDM alumna.