Mobilizing change

Scholarship supports students’ community service

Ross and Zev Allen, brothers and K-State students, see a strong need for literacy programming in small rural towns in northeastern Kansas. Inspired to create social change in these areas, Ross and Zev spent the last two summers creating a nonprofit program called The Bookmobile — a renovated RV that travels to small towns giving residents opportunities to check out books and receive meals.

Ross and Zev were recipients of the Marjorie J. and Richard L.D. Morse Family and Community Public Policy Scholarship from K-State Libraries. The scholarship was created through an endowment established by the Morses to provide funds for K-State undergraduate students to work on projects that impact public policy and community service.

“As a 2013 Morse Scholar, Ross was able to dedicate time to starting the nonprofit that would provide the organizational structure for The Bookmobile,” Zev said. “The following year, as a 2014 Morse Scholar, I was able to jump on board and get involved with development and implementation.”

On average, The Bookmobile served 130 participants each week this summer. The program also provided groceries to students every week through a stand-alone program, Lunchbox, delivering approximately 6,000 meals to families in northeastern Kansas.

“The Morse scholarship has played an integral role in allowing Ross and me to dedicate our full efforts to these projects over the last two summers,” Zev said.

“The Morse family made it possible for Zev and I to take that step and be the change we want to see in Soldier, Kansas, and the surrounding community,” Ross said. “It wouldn’t have been possible without them, and we are very thankful.”

Students like Ross and Zev Allen motivate others to dream big and make lasting impacts on their communities. Their humble acts will affect social change for years to come.

“We are proud of the work that Zev, Ross and other Morse scholar recipients have done to impact local and global communities and influence public policy,” said Lori Goetsch, dean of K-State Libraries.

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