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An undergraduate public writing class based out of the Department of English inspired four students to turn their group project into a way to help others. The students, including sophomore Eric Pelehach, created Reaching Out for Agape, an IndieGoGo campaign that aims to raise funds for Agape Outreach Homes.

The Knoxville Mercury highlighted the students’ effort in this story.

Agape Outreach Homes is a non-profit organization that combats homelessness and mental illness by providing housing and care for men with severe, persistent mental illnesses.

“I will never forget some of the conversations I had with the guys there,” Pelehach told the publication. He served with his church at Agape two years ago. “They were such genuinely good people, and ever since that day I knew I wanted to come back. It’s crazy that a public writing class gave me that chance.”

Erin Smith, senior lecturer in the Department of English, taught the class.