On Tuesday evening, 261 students were recognized for giving back over 125,000 hours of volunteerism efforts that Mount Wachusett Community College estimates are equivalent to a $2.5-$3 million value.
“When you think about the collective impact, it’s more than just a number. Imagine if all of this just stopped tomorrow,” said Shelley Errington-Nicholson, Director of the Senator Stephen M. Brewer Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement, reflecting on the event. “This community would look very different if our students and their clubs weren’t committed to volunteering year after year, if our faculty weren’t committed to offering service learning as part of the academic experience. This is a lasting impact because, by and large, our students grow up in these cities and towns and they’re going to stay here,” she said.
“I’m in awe of you because I know you were too busy to volunteer,” President James Vander Hooven told students on May 15. “You had to go to work, or take care of your family, or study for an exam, and yet you figured out a way to carve out some time to help others.”
“Changing the world – even for one person or for one day – is very important and very special,” said Senator Stephen Brewer. “It all starts with you.”
Terri Alden of Orange was awarded the Hillary Bartlett Newsome Service Learning Scholarship in memory of Hillary Bartlett’s spirit of giving back to the community. Bartlett was a 2009 graduate of the Mount’s Early Childhood Transfer program who passed away unexpectedly in 2017.
Professor Emerita Maryann Kane of the Early Childhood Education department received the Faculty Civic Engagement Award. “Maryann, thank you is not sufficient for your years of dedicated to service inspiring generations of new teachers,” said Errington-Nicholson.
Sybil Sinclair of Ashburnham was awarded the Service Learning Scholarship. The Above and Beyond Award was presented to the Student Nurses Association, which conducted a year-long awareness campaign to train students and community members in hands only CPR in addition to collecting 232 pounds of food donations for the campus food pantry. Clear Path for Veterans New England was recognized as the Community Partner of the Year for its holistic approach to helping returning vets and for offering a site for service learning students in both marketing and nursing.
In addition to their volunteer efforts, some students were recognized for additional volunteer-based work. These students were Student Leaders in Civic Engagement, Laryssa Truesdale and Tammy Goodgion. Goodgion put forth the largest effort by a graduating student this year with 358 hours of service.
The SOS (Serving Our Students) interns for the year Cristen Comptois, Marie Ewing, Tammy Goodgion, Elise Hamblett, Sybil Sinclair, Laryssa Truesdale, Jacob VanHillo, and Jacquelyn Vokey were also recognized. Cristen Comptois was also honored for being selected as the school’s 2018 Newman Civic Fellow award winner.
The students who were honored for their volunteer efforts were:
Cintia Andrade de Menezes
Noelle St Martin
Micaela Canessa Giorello
Kim Self Wright
Samantha Shippell Stiles
Jenifer Nancy Ndungu
Xuan Thanh Tran
North Grosvenordale, CT
New Ipswich, NH