MDCC-VISTA Jeana Biondo Wins Prestigious Award
Jeana Biondo, Maryland Campus Compact-VISTA 2009-2010 at Carroll Community College, will receive the 2010 Governor’s Volunteer Service Award on Monday, April 19, 2010. The award is from the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism and will be presented at the Miller Senate Office Building in downtown Annapolis. The Governor’s Volunteer Service Awards are presented by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV) each year. These awards recognize significant contributions of Maryland citizens to the life and health of the State and its people. The awards are presented during National Volunteer Week, April 18- 24, 2010.
Among other activities as the Maryland Campus Compact AmeriCorps*VISTA Program Coordinator for Carroll Community College, Ms. Biondo developed a service-learning and civic engagement cohort for first-generation students which enhances their community engagement, resulting in higher retention. “It made me feel like the work I’m doing is really making a difference and that it’s something important. It also makes me feel so thankful that I’ve been placed in such a wonderful environment to enact such change in our community; I would never be able to accomplish the things I do without the help and support of all the amazing people I work with,” said Jeana Biondo.
2009 Honor Roll Announced!
The Corporation for National and Community Service announces the annual Honor Roll award recipients, recognizing more than 700 colleges and universities for exemplary, innovative, and effective community service programs. Eleven MDCC institutions were recognized!
Campus Spotlight: McDaniel College
Since McDaniel College established the Center for Community Outreach & Service in Fall ’08, there has been a flurry of student volunteer projects and several classes offered by faculty with service-learning components. One of the biggest success stories is the Boys & Girls Club of Westminster (http://bgcwestminster.org ) located on a street that borders the campus community. With the help of McDaniel student volunteers, interns, and service-learning students, the Club has been able to keep their doors open from September to May, including January, a time when they have typically cut programs in the past. In collaboration with the Center for Community Outreach & Service, the current group of 25 volunteers at the Club is twice the number of this time last year.
This year, new students started out their college careers as good neighbors. On August 22nd 2009, 70 first year students participated in a voluntary activity, the “Community Service Plunge”, when they turned out early to do back-to-school cleaning for two local agencies that serve low-income families in Westminster. More volunteer opportunities have become accessible to students without cars through local public transportation that was brought to campus last year (CATS).
In addition to student outreach, there have been multiple service-learning courses offered at McDaniel. One example is “Writing for Nonprofit Organizations” which partnered students from a wide variety of majors with thirteen different nonprofits, and was an introduction to the various written genres produced by and for local, national and international nonprofit organizations. http://www.carrollcountytimes.com/articles/2009/04/21/news/local_news/newsstory3.txt
Spring 2009 also included a Botany class, “Child and Adolescent Development”, “Social Work Practice I”, and “American Deaf Culture.” Currently, “Marginalized Cultures & Macro Intervention” is partnered with three community organizations, and for Spring 2010 we look forward to a “Health Psychology” class, “The Natural & Social Science of Aging”, and the second offering of “Writing for Nonprofits.” Two organizations partnering with McDaniel professors this year are Access Carroll which provides free healthcare to uninsured, low-income residents of Carroll County (http://www.accesscarroll.org/ ) and Human Services Programs which seeks to improve the quality of life and self-sufficiency of at-risk and low-income Carroll County residents (http://www.hspinc.org/ ).
McDaniel College is also proud of the long-established Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program, which assists low-income, local residents to file their taxes. This is the 19th year of the program established by Professor Susan Milstein. Each year, 25-40 students volunteer their time and talents to this cause ( http://www.mcdaniel.edu/6262.htm).
Furthermore, McDaniel College alumni are re-engaging with the community service happening on campus. This year, the newly rejuvenated Griswold-Zepp Award for Community Service was awarded to Senior John Modica and his team of students. This team will be working to make Westminster a greener place for everyone regardless of income and status (http://www.mcdaniel.edu/10389.htm). The alumni sponsoring this award were very active in service groups during their time at McDaniel College (formerly Western Maryland College), and are enthusiastic to see the current generation of students getting involved with poverty relief and other service projects within their communities.