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Day of Service a success
The seventh semiannual St. Charles Community College Day of Service took place Friday, April 5, at various locations in St. Charles County, including Calvary Church, St. Charles County Boys and Girls Clubs, Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Services, SCC and more.
Day of Service is a day for SCC students, faculty and staff to participate in a variety of community service projects across St. Charles County. The day exemplifies SCC’s commitment to serving the community by focusing on student success and lifelong learning.
“The Day of Service helps students, faculty and staff build a sense of community by being able to get out on campus or outside of campus and engage with each other and serve others in need,” said Bryonie Carter, associate professor of English and chair of the service-learning and civic engagement program at SCC.
The event occurs in spring and fall semesters.
“By organizing it twice a year, faculty, staff and students have a chance to engage in community service more than once per academic year. Organizations in our community have varying needs, and different projects occur at different times of the year. Having the Day of Service every semester allows us to be more consistent with service to our community partners and the community,” Carter said.
Close to 100 volunteers participated, with an even spread of people through all 13 on-and off-campus projects.
“We were thrilled to have a mix of faculty, staff, students and administrators participate,” Carter said. “The volunteers were gratified to help!”
Each participant volunteered for various reasons.
“I just really like helping people,” said Kelsey Steele, SCC student. “That’s my thing.”
“Helping others is normal in my country [the Phillippines],” said Mary Rose Kidd, SCC student. “I think by volunteering you learn how to communicate with different people.”
“We’re in the service-learning class,” said Edenia Gallado, SCC student, of the students seated her table. “But it was good to get my hands dirty.”
Participants found that the experience was not only valuable, but eye-opening.
“It was fun,” said William Baca, SCC faculty member. “When you see the project finished you realize you created value for your community. It’s a good feeling.”
Brandalyn Rasheed, SCC student, volunteered to pick up trash at Woodlands Park. When asked what she learned from the experience, Rasheed said, “People should be more conscious about how they affect their environment and take steps to do better.”
“This is my first Day of Service experience, and it has changed my life, especially because of the inclusion and diversity,” said Robert Jones, student retention coordinator and interim student life manager. “How often do you see faculty, staff and students working together for a common cause? Now I truly understand why it is called a ‘community college.’”
Abdihakem Musse, SCC student, said he was not initially interested in volunteering, but after participating, he feels he learned a valuable lesson. “Once you don’t think about it as work it is not work. I ended up enjoying it and working together with other people. It’s important to share a burden and realize that there are more important things than life. This experience really helped me learn to get closer to nature and to renew an interest in the environment.”
Day of Service is important to the many organizations that receive SCC’s volunteers.
“SCC’s volunteers have blessed us in so many ways. They provide hours and hours of service that would be difficult for us to generate, and they get a tremendous amount of work done in a short period of time,” said Matt Miller of Calvary Church. “This past Day of Service created a combined total of 60 hours of labor in one morning!”
“We have been around for 38 years, and for most of that time we have been able to operate from volunteer help… We could not do it without them,” said Vicki Johnson from Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Services. “This is the second year we have participated in the SCC Day of Service, and we have been so blessed to have these volunteers. They did a great job, and I love the partnership between our organizations.”
Carter, who spearheaded SCC Day of Service, couldn’t be more pleased with how the event turned out.
“I was most gratified by the fact that many, if not all, participants came away from the event deeply affected by their experiences,” Carter added. “Hopefully this will aid our mission of advocating for community engagement across campus, both inside the classroom with service-learning experiences and outside the classroom with community initiatives like this one.”
For more information, please contact Carter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 636-922-8266.
St. Charles Community College is a public, comprehensive two-year community college with associate degrees and certificate programs in the arts, business, sciences and career-technical fields. SCC provides workforce training and community-based personal and professional development as well as cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities. For more information, visit www.stchas.edu.