HONORS COLLEGE OFFERS STUDENTS A CHANCE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE BLACK BELT

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Students in the University of Alabama’s Honors College participate in the annual Black Belt Experience.

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A group of University of Alabama honor students are finishing up a three-week project in Perry County.

It’s all part of the ninth annual Black Belt Experience, and the Honors College’s 57 Miles partnership with Perry County.

The soon-to-be sophomores work together on 14 projects including cleaning up the grounds at the courthouse in Marion.

“It’s really special to us, and the community of Marion has really welcomes us and were really grateful for the relationship we’ve been able to form,” said UA freshman Garrison Hughes. “We really love coming out and and working with community members to really just make this an even better place to live.”

Sarah Beth Strickland, also an Alabama freshman, said it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

“It’s really cool to sit down and hear their stories and to talk to people with a history, trying to build their town and their community,” she said.

Strickland said she and another student took on a project of their own while they were in Marion. She and fellow freshman Charlotte McRae took their passion for art and helped put some life into an old unused art exhibit, encouraging students in Marion to get creative.

“We gave third-graders in Marion disposable cameras, and they took those home to take pictures of what home meant to them,” Strickland said. “Whatever they thought of when they heard the word ‘home’ was what they were taking pictures of.”

The Honors College project runs through Friday.

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