Students find volunteering benefits all involved

PLATTSBURGH According to Dr. John C. Ettling, volunteerism is a win, win, win maybe another win situation. The State University of New York at Plattsburgh president offered his words on commitment to the community as the university held its seventh annual Community Service Scholarship Breakfast March 26. During the event, 12 SUNY Plattsburgh students were given scholarships for volunteering in the area. The breakfast was arranged to thank the students for their service commitment, explained Anne Hansen, vice president of institutional advancement. The scholarship is offered to first-year students only. Recipients of the scholarship are required to complete 10 hours of community service per week, with a total of 300 hours during the year. Its a $2,500 scholarship for the year, explained Hansen. It assists with tuition, room and board. Their expenses, basically. Each student works with only one organization during the year. Some of the agencies include the Clinton County Nursing Home, the Joint Council for Economic Opportunity, and the Lake Champlain Research Institute. Dean Delano, coordinator of Plattsburgh Student Corps, is responsible for placing the students with an organization. Basically we coordinate volunteer programs with individual needs, he explained. We try to base it on their area of interest or their majors. Student Amanda Lyon of Saranac volunteered at CVPH Medical Center. I worked in the emergency room, primarily, she explained. I fill up the linen closet, run patients to CAT scan if need be, and run blood samples. Lyon feels the experience has greatly helped her because she is a biochemistry pre-med major. I know what Im talking about in classes when they ask me questions, she commented. I worked with local schools and did a mentoring program, said student Amanda Goodfellow of Mooers. Miss Goodfellow served Eastern Adirondack Health Care Network, a government-funded agency that creates school programs to help prevent alcohol and substance abuse. Another part of her volunteering included helping students get their club together and really be recognized as an actual club at their school. Michelle Hills, EAHCN project coordinator, was Miss Goodfellows site supervisor. Each student is paired with someone from the agency they are working with; this person is there to guide them through the volunteer process. Hills was chosen to speak to the attendees about Goodfellows accomplishments. She spoke of a group of high risk students who drafted a constitution and created a presentation to present to the board of education, about how they would achieve the goal of attending college. With Amandas guidance, the group presented their achievements and future needs to the Board of Education, Hills explained. She said the group was dubbed the future leaders of the school and received the status they sought by the board. They are now an official after-school youth group and will visit colleges and plan for their educational futures with funding approved by the board, she said. Throughout Hills speech, she praised Miss Goodfellow and listed the number of accomplishments she had while volunteering with EAHCN. She is the most patient, kind and dedicated young adult with whom I have had the pleasure of working, she said. Although Goodfellow is unable to be a part of the Community Service Scholarship during her sophomore year, she does have plans to continue with volunteering through SUNY Plattsburgh. [Students] can apply to be a part of the Plattsburgh Student Service Corps, explained Cori Matthews, director of campus activities. This service is similar to the scholarship in that students are sent to one site to work. However, in addition to this, they participate in community-building events, reflections and team-building events, and training opportunities, as well as getting some scholarship money, some work study, [and] money off their housing, Matthews said. All 12 students were in attendance at the breakfast, along with many of the site supervisors and benefactors various businesses and individuals who provide the funds for the scholarships. The benefactors make it possible, said Hansen.

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