Program Resource

Serving through Hands-on Projects

Publication date: 
May, 2016
Indiana Philanthropy Alliance

Service-Learning often has built in engagement, but it needs to be more than just a fun day where we helped people. Derrin Slack of ProACT Indy and Ryan Steuer of Magnified Giving will explore concrete examples of service-learning projects that have an impact on the community and also engage the minds of youth. Participants will leave the webinar with the framework to create an idea for a service learning project that can relate to academic learning, as well as be given online resources for service-learning project ideas. Find out how teaching youth about how to serve others in their community can create lifelong impact.


Derrin Slack, Executive Director, ProAct Indy

While on a college mission trip to Botswana, Africa, Derrin experienced the power of giving back to others and wondered how his life would have been different had he been exposed to service at a younger age; thus, ProAct was born. After working a promising career as a medical informatics trainer, Derrin left his job to pursue his passion full time. Serving as the Executive Director of ProAct Indy, an Indiana nonprofit organization committed to engaging youth in public service, Derrin acts as the senior representative for donors, volunteers, youth program participants, and other stakeholders. In the purest interpretation of the organization's principles, the success of the organization is the sole interest of the youth, as ProAct’s youth participants are not the recipients of community service, they are the creators and givers and community service. This is a tenet that truly makes ProAct unique.

Ryan Steuer, Executive Director, Magnify Learning

After leaving a career in Industrial Engineering to teach eighth grade, Ryan helped create a PBL school within a school called Apex within Decatur Township Middle School in Indianapolis. As one of the first New Tech Network middle schools in the country, Apex focused on Project-Based Learning and Service-Learning. Now out of the classroom, Ryan is leading PBL professional development through Magnify Learning and service-learning professional development through generationOn Indiana. Ryan is also involved in afterschool STEM Initiatives across Indiana and serves as the Chair of the STEM Professional Development Committee for the Indiana Afterschool Network and on the leadership board of the Indiana Girls Collaborative Project.