Corinne Owens turns service learning into a work of art

Connie Owens satnding in from of her bus paintingBy Jim Turner
Many notable service learning projects are appreciated by those who are served but remain virtually invisible. Corinne Owens volunteer work will likely remain visible for many years to come.

A 2015 graduate of Franklin-Simpson High School, Owens is a freshman at Southcentral Kentucky Community amp; Technical College. A requirement in her First Year Experience class at SKYCTC s Franklin Center is performing a minimum of 10 hours of service to assist a non-profit agency or group.

Artistic by nature, she enjoys creating works of art and appearing in theatrical productions. She aspires to be an art teacher after completing her college education. So it was natural for her to choose a project in which she could use her arts skills on her way to an Associate of Arts degree from SKYCTC.

Corinne is very familiar with Community Action of Southern Kentucky. Her mother, April Owens, has worked for the Bowling Green-based social service agency for six years. From her middle school years on, Corinne has volunteered by helping with the agency s Golf Classic, sorting commodities and doing some cleaning.

Her FYE project: Painting a 24-square foot mural on a wall of Community Action s Transportation Department.

She spent seven full days outlining one of Community Action s GO bg transit busses, adding a map of the routes of the 22 vehicles, and then painting portions of the bus on the 3.5 X 7 foot surface. Most of those days came during her Fall Break week from SKYCTC in October.

The result is a beautifully done work of art for anyone who walks the Community Action halls to see.

GO bg is Bowling Green s Public Transit, striving to be a transportation option for all of the community. It began in 1989 when Community Action of Southern Kentucky was awarded a non-profit permit for the 10 counties in the Barren River Area Development District to provide transportation for the elderly and the disabled as funds became available. Funding came in 1993 through a United Way Venture Grant. The service has grown ever since.

The people who work for Community Action don t get enough credit for their hard work, Owens told herConnie Owens painting a mural of a bus FYE classmates in reporting on her service learning project. I had the pleasure to meet some of them, and I wouldn t trade this moment for anything.

Community Action Transportation Director Donna Tooley says there is no way for her to adequately express the gratitude and admiration the 29 employees involved with Go bg feel for Corinne Owens. We are thrilled and so proud of it. Anyone who comes into our department sees it as soon as they enter the front door, she says. We got her to sign the original sketch of the mural. It s going to be framed and will hang in our downtown office.

It really made me happy to see the faces light up on the bus drivers and other staff who work at the office, Owens says. I feel I helped make their days brighter in the time I was there. It s a feeling I got that never can be replaced.

Community Action employees have requested that Corinne create more murals for other departments. She readily accepted their request.