WKCTC 2012-2013 Service Learning: Learning Beyond the Classroom
WKCTC's Service Learning (GEN 120) course is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
SERVICE LEARNING Learning Beyond the Classroom 2011-2012 Kentucky Community westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 & Technical College System SERVICE LEARNING: Learning Beyond the Classroom â€œYou are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with - Woodrow Wilson 28th U.S. President Page 2 westkentucky.kctcs.edu SERVICE LEARNING: Learning Beyond the Classroom Table of Contents Dr. Belinda Dalton-Russell, Vice President of Student Affairs West Kentucky Community & Technical College By David Moore By Danita Fisher Cheyanna Jude Melissa McHaney Dr. Belinda Dalton-Russell By Heather D. Cartney By Samantha Puckett Carolyn Cissell Darrin Thompson Matthew Dylan Green Kristie Morris, Lauren Beane, Patrice Pierce By Amberâ€™Lee Douglas By Lindsey Lamb By Lacie Watkins Eric Youngblood By Brandi Bennett Angela Whitis A VOLUNTEER is a person who is a light to others, giving witness in a mixed-up age, doing well and willingly the tasks at hand-namely, being aware of anotherâ€™s needs and doing something about it. A VOLUNTEER is a person who remembers to do the thing to make other people happy, who takes the loneliness out of the alone by talking to them, who is concerned when others are unconcerned, who has the courage to be a prophet and to say the things that have to be said for the good of all. giving when all about are grasping, listening when others need to tell about their fears and problems. -- from The Beacon, newsletter of Birthrite, South Africa westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 3 -- Danny Thomas Page 4 westkentucky.kctcs.edu SERVICE LEARNING: Learning Beyond the Classroom Introduction My name is Belinda A. Dalton-Russell, and I serve as Vice President of Student Affairs at West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC). I greet you with an enthusiastic and vigorous handshake. WKCTC was named one of the by the Aspen Institute on December 12, 2011. Exceptional achievements and diligence in serving the community has been pivotal to our success. I was taught from an early age to put the principles of giving into practice by accepting opportunities to volunteer. I learned the importance of advocating and supporting programs, organizations, and people who strengthen our community. Volunteering has enabled me to build a healthy spirit, conscious mind, and a compassionate heart. It has taught me the importance of understanding and educating myself about the challenges of the community and how we can learn, grow, and thrive by working together. I teach the Service Learning (GEN 120) course on the WKCTC campus, and I also developed and coordinate the collegeâ€™s Student Ambassador Program. The focus of the GEN 120 course and Student Ambassador Program is to educate students of the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community through structured and community-based volunteer work. Students selected as ambassadors are required to enroll and successfully complete GEN 120. The course is open to all students who desire to experience the power of giving, new cultures, establishing lifelong friendships, and building a foundation for personal success. Volunteerism, through this course, offers students a front row pass to the community and a true understanding of the campus culture. The course assists in preparing students for their journey in life and fostering strong leadership skills. When students travel as people to people, they view the world differently. Volunteering builds a sense of purpose and a chance improving communication skills, and encouraging social development. Whether you currently volunteer or would like to volunteer, you can earn three hours of college level credits which can be used as credit toward graduation. or Tamara K. Hodges, administrative assistant to the vice president of student affairs, at (270) 534-3069. To register for the Respectfully, Dr. Belinda A. Dalton-Russell Vice President Student Affairs/Service Learning Instructor westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 5 Page 6 westkentucky.kctcs.edu Creating the Next Generation of Leaders Through Service Learning and the Student Ambassador Program By Dr. Belinda Dalton-Russell Student Affairs at West Kentucky Community and Technical College has developed a Student Ambassador Program that includes a campus and community service learning component. The program began Fall 2011 and embraces the fundamental role of arming students with character development, enhanced knowledge, and skills needed to be contributing citizens of society. The missions of the Student Ambassador and Service Learning programs are to promote an ethic of service and citizenship to help our institution become an increasingly engaged campus. The programs also provides support to community civic organizations. Each ambassador has been provided with uniforms and name badges. These students are required to have earned 12 semester credit hours or more (preferred at WKCTC), be able to serve as an exemplary role model for our student body, college, and community. Students are evaluated on their performance and are required to participate in training sessions and complete a service log of activities and dates. At the completion of the Service Learning course, students The Service Learning Program decreases the workload of faculty and staff by offering volunteers to assist at As students balance their academic, personal, and work responsibilities with their commitment toward bringing about positive changes, they will strengthen their critical thinking, listening, and collaboration skills. The program allows students to build organizational skills, planning, leadership, career, and teamwork experience. It also communication skills. The WKCTC Service Learning (GEN 120) class is a 3 credit hour course that engages enrolled students in structured, community-based activities to acquaint them with the value of service and commitment to the community. Some topics covered in the course include professional etiquette, organizations, identifying campus buildings and programs, recruitment and retention, etc. Students develop an understanding of the treasures within our community and also the daunting challenges the community faces. Students help identify and solve problems that fellow students may encounter. Currently, the Service Learning class consists of student ambassadors and students from the general population. Service learning and civic engagement is directly related to training and leadership. If the role of college is to develop the next generation of leaders, they must provide opportunities for leadership and growth. WKCTC employees and community organizations can request student ambassadors by accessing the WKCTC Website under â€œStudent Activities.â€? Some of the campus and community activities students have been involved in Reading PALS (McNabb Elementary School), Heart Walk, Happening Hour, leadership training, New Student Orientation, class presentations, campus and community partnerships, Barbecue on the River, Arts in FOCUS, and more. The Service Learning and Student Ambassador Program assists in supporting and increasing the collegeâ€™s Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSEE) results in active and collaborative learning. westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 7 Heather D. Cartney believes strongly in giving back to her community. When the opportunity arose Page 8 westkentucky.kctcs.edu Kindness Repaid By Heather D. Cartney West Kentucky Community and Technical College Student Ambassador watched as a young boy arrived to take part in hippotherapy with Horses, Inc., volunteers at Carson Park. Hippotherapy uses the repetitive and rhythmic motion involved in riding horses to improve body strength and balance on individuals with disabilities. “Holding themselves in place is a fantastic way to improve trunk strength and balance. They improve their posture and use their whole body to hold on to the horse. This type of therapy is good for people with a wide range of disabilities because it uses the whole body. It builds strength, if he started to fall, she was there to catch him. Each time the little boy came to the therapy, he sat very quietly on Jack, the horse assigned to him, responding very little to the horse trainer who also worked with Heather. “I walked with this boy several times over the course of three months. In the beginning, he tended to sit very quietly and did not respond to the trainer much,” Heather said. “He seemed to be in his own world. He didn’t show emotion.” Then one day, close to when the program was nearing its end in November, something changed in the little boy. “He smiled at us when he came to the area. He was petting the horses, and it was obvious to everyone that he was enjoying himself,” Heather said. “His grandfather told me that before he started the training, that the little boy did not give hugs. Just a few days prior to this his grandson. He attributed it to the loving, trusting relationship that the boy was experiencing with his horse, Jack.” Carson Park, Heather was there. She observed the group and talked to Dara Triplet, the coordinator of the group in Paducah. She also met many of the volunteers, watched them take the clients through their individual programs, and studied the volunteer binder. “I also noticed how involved the volunteers are with the clients. The high school kids were hanging out with children with autism and cerebral palsy, and making it look like it was all normal,” Heather recalled. “Over time, work with form a bond with you and the horses that they ride.” As part of her service learning experience, Heather volunteered to be what is known as a “side walker” for Horse, Inc. – someone whose job is to walk next to the horse, making sure that the rider sits in the saddle correctly. Another client, a four-year-old girl who had a brain injury, was known to bite and yank people’s hair as she rode on the horses. new to the program. As a side walker, Heather’s job was to walk next to the little boy as he sat in the saddle, holding onto one of his legs and make sure that he stayed put. And “It almost seems funny until you realize that this little girl does not understand that when westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 9 Kindness Repaid (continued) she bites, that it hurts,” Heather said. “She explores with her mouth in much the same way that an animal does because they have no other option. She would latch on and not let go until pried off.” “We were all very cautious. I admit to a lot of trepidation as I approached this little girl. There were two of us walking on each side and one person leading the horse. Every once in a while, this little girl would start to lean over and look like she was going to bite my hand that was resting on her knee. I would tell her, ‘no, don’t bite …’ and we would go on.” The little girl wanted to put her hands in Heather’s hair and twist it around. “I did not mind that. At some point in the ride, I realized that she was being gentler with my hair. Then she started to lean in towards me and I braced myself for the bite,” Heather said. “Instead, of biting me, she leaned over and hugged me, resting her little body against my head. It was the sweetest thing in the world. After that, there were no more bites, just many hugs.” When the ride was over, the little girl’s mom asked Heather how she felt about the experience. “I told her that it was one of the best feelings. I look at that as one of my happiest moments,” Heather said. “I felt like I really made a difference to that little girl.” “As a student and a mother of two, I am pulled in many different directions. I realized that if I have a plan, stay organized, and manage my schedule rather than just letting things happen, I can do more with the time that I do have,” Heather explained.“If not for WKCTC and the programs offered here, we would be doomed to low earning jobs with no future. Not for lack of intelligence or desire, but just due to geography and circumstances that keep some from attending a four-year university. “I can sum up how I have felt about being a student ambassador this semester with one word – grateful. I am give back to others and that I have a chance to inspire others to give. “Being a student ambassador has opened many doors for me. I hope to continue to represent our wonderful school for as long as I attend.” another. Page 10 westkentucky.kctcs.edu Just A Stepping Stone U.S. Air Force veteran and mother of always wanted to go to college, but personal obligations delayed her pursuit until later in her life. “Starting the nursing program has been a dream of mine for years, and I did not have the opportunity to follow that dream until recently due to family obligations. So when I was and I could do anything,” Carolyn said. “Even though I was warned that it would be like nothing else I have taken, I was Being A Better You Fresh out of high school, thought having to take a class associated with being a student ambassador was a complete waste of time. But after a semester as a student ambassador, he realized how wrong he was. “The class showed me things that a regular class setting wouldn’t have ever showed me. This class got me out into the community and around the college to meet new people,” Dylan said. “Also, it has allowed me to make many new friends along the way.“ Dylan decided to attend West Kentucky Community and Technical College to get a smooth transition into college life and to learn more about responsibility. semester. Some people might throw in the towel, not Carolyn. “I had the opportunity to choose to step away damaging my GPA. I chose to take a risk and not quit to see if I could pull myself through – a decision that took considerable thought and courage on my part, especially since I worked so hard to get to where I was,” Carolyn said. “The service learning class has taught me how to juggle my time doing volunteer work, having a full-time job my grades up in class - keys to being a successful student.” Dylan said. Students who agree to be student saw it through.” Since coming to WKCTC, Carolyn has served as Student Government Association president and as a student ambassador, taking part in many events and activities. “Representing the college as a student ambassador has been a major highlight in my academic, as well as, my services in a semester. Dylan said students should not take that commitment lightly. “Doing all these things in college might be overwhelming, but it will only get better as you keep doing it,” Dylan said. “The constant pressure to be your best everywhere you go in this class transforms you to be a better being, to always be your best and make everything look easy.” to give back a little to the college in return for all that the college has given to me.” a stepping stone, not a defeat. “A few years ago, I would know even when you get knocked down, all is not lost. Get back up and dust yourself off. There is a new day beginning tomorrow.” westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 11 Volunteering Changes Perceptions By Amber’Lee Douglas When I was young I volunteered with a friend to help St. Vincent De Paul Budget Store in Paducah. I had forgotten student ambassador at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. While being an ambassador I got the chance to meet people from every walk of life who had at least one thing in common – the desire to help those in need. There are lessons in life that students cannot learn in a classroom, but they can learn them in the community. Experiencing the small changes that I and other ambassadors can make in our community has been There are some things that you must learn outside of the classroom, and those lessons build skills to use before and after graduation. Walk Diversity Conference in Decatur, Ill., the summer of 2011. I met an array of people with wonderful ideas who made me think outside the box and challenged me as well as supported my views on issues that affect us all. The conference gave me a sense of belonging I had not felt before. I volunteered with fellow students at several events in our community and on our campus. While helping out at WKCTC’s new student orientation, I was able to meet several students who had just joined the college and fellow students who were also involved in student organizations. We all came together for two Saturdays in August to assist new students in getting involved in student organizations. Several students got together for organization awareness days during the beginning of the While attending college I have had the privilege of learning more about my college and community than I had before. Until I offered to assist the West Kentucky Community and Technical College Scholarship Gala, I did not know that the community came together to donate money to our scholarship funds. During my time at the gala, I got the chance to meet several community leaders who care about the education in our region as much as my college does. Getting the chance to help the Girl Scouts of Kentucky has enriched my experience as an ambassador. I was a member of the Girl Scouts for several years as a child. It was nice to give back to them for everything they had done for me as a child. The only “vacations” I went on was with my Girl Scout troop and I will always be thankful to them for the positive experiences they give young girls in our area. students, the organizations, and the college. Working with Dr. Barbara Veazey, WKCTC president, and other faculty, staff and students in preparing for Page 12 westkentucky.kctcs.edu Volunteering Changes Perceptions (continued) ideas, suggestions to improve my secretarial positions, and like-minded individualsâ€™ ideas to bring back to my college campus. Informative and enlightening, the conference taught me to set goals and think of ways to accomplish each of them and to not only depend on myself, but to depend on others that surround me. Likewise, each event that I attended or assisted challenged me in some way whether it was cognitive, observational or social learning that I gained from each endeavor. The most nerve racking event was when the Aspen Institute toured our campus. Since it was a prestigious award at stake for our college, my nerves were in my throat as I was interviewed the Aspen Institute to visit our campus was a great honor. Knowing our school is in the makes me even more proud of saying I am a student as well as an ambassador at WKCTC. Service Learning is an educational class that many students should take advantage of. I have recommended it to several students I have felt would gain knowledge from this course and would like giving time to help the greater good of our college and community. The chance to get college credit hours while helping the community is motivating. This course teaches timemanagement skills for those who arenâ€™t sure how to balance school work and a job. There is a balance between studying and working that cannot be taught in any other environment. During my time working in the community, my social skills have improved greatly. Each project at which I got a chance to assist was different in many ways, and each of them had different agencies that loved to help as much as myself. college at any point during the selection process. Thankfully, the judges saw what I see in West Kentucky Community and Technical College, especially that faculty and staff strive every day to help students reach their goals in life and go above and beyond the call of duty to assure that their assistance is helpful. Although people view me as very outgoing and personable, there is a side of me that is somewhat shy. This service especially in situations where I feel self-conscious. There is a sense of pride that cannot be taught in a classroom that is accomplished through volunteer work. West Kentucky Community and Technical College has offered so many opportunities for self-improvement, and I am so very thankful to have been presented the chance to help improve my community while educating myself at the same time. The experiences I found most valuable and challenging were the times I was not at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. When aiding other agencies that were not I could be successful in helping them with the tasks to be accomplished. While at the college, I felt a sense of comfort that I lacked when I was not on campus. The most valuable endeavor was attending the KCTCS Leadership Conference in Owensboro, Ky. While at the leadership conference, I gathered excellent fund-raising westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 13 One Person Can Make a Difference By Lacie Watkins My social service learning experience was something that will last a lifetime. Being able to meet and greet the different students on campus was such a pleasure. When wearing an ambassador shirt, everyone thinks you know the answers to any questions that they might have. It was always funny when someone would have a question that I had absolutely no clue how to answer. I would smile and say, “I have no clue, but I would information, and I’ll let you know as soon as I can.” The sound in their voice was always relief when I would contact them and let them know I had found an answer to their question. My out-of-class experience was more focused on the school and community as a whole. Getting my hands dirty by wrapping up hundreds of barbecued sandwiches was a new experience. It was an inspiring feeling to know that with every sandwich eaten and every dollar collected, someone, somewhere, in the community would be helped. My out-of-class experience showed me how much of a need our community really has for volunteers. My community knowledge is something that I’ll use from here on out. Meeting with the leaders of the Kiwanis Club, for the community. This was something I had been curious about since I was a little girl, and there was a Kiwanis Park right down the road from my house. It was very informative to meet the people behind the scenes in the community and school. It was very interesting to be able to understand someone’s title and what they actually do for the community or at the school. Being a single mother of four children, holding down a full-time job, and being a nursing student and a student ambassador was very challenging and stressful at times. What I found most valuable from this experience was the knowledge I have gained about my community and my campus. Learning how each person plays an important and crucial role, no matter what their job title might be is something that I will carry forward from this day on. Page 14 westkentucky.kctcs.edu Being a Student Ambassador: Deciding to quit her job and attend West Kentucky Community and Technical College as a full-time student was no easy decision for She had worked full-time since a teenager, and the idea of not working seemed foreign. “I have always been very busy and involved semester,” Whitis said. “Now that I am part of the ambassador team, I feel more like myself again. I have really enjoyed getting to know my fellow ambassadors as well as the wonderful faculty and staff. I love being involved in the various activities and events that are available for volunteers.” All of my adventures have been so much fun and would not have happened had I not applied to be an ambassador. I am proud of the hard work that I’ve put in that led to my becoming an ambassador. - Angela Whitis student ambassador was to help recruiter Trent Johnson giving a campus tour. “I felt it was an honor to show junior high school students around the campus. The excitement in their eyes as they entered the college was heartwarming,” Whitis said. “As we traveled to each destination that day, the students readily answered any questions I had and seemed to welcome the chance to engage in conversation. They were truly interested in the different programs and listened intently to the speakers. I had a blast and was even able to see some areas of the college that I had yet to visit.” westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 15 Making Good on A Promise: Giving Back By David Moore David Moore. Moore, a student ambassador and nursing student, describes below how that experience Hospitalâ€™s Critical Care Unit (CCU) in Nashville, Tenn., I noticed the exceptional care and concern that the nurses and medical staff gave to my wife and family. I witnessed and spiritual support to my family and me. My wife was transferred to Vanderbilt Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital in Nashville, after awaking from a month-long coma and when the doctors felt she was stable enough to begin therapy. She had suffered from Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM), a rare disorder that one in 1200 to 1600 women who become pregnant suffer from each year. It is an enlargement of the heart due to pregnancy. Secondary to her heart enlargement, she suffered an anoxic brain injury because of the time she spent without proper oxygen being circulated to her brain and vital organs. It was at Stallworth Rehab Hospital that the compassion continued, and for a month and a half I stayed in a bed next to my wife watching, day in and day out, the care and concern for her health and well-being. and even lost their lives because of this horrible disorder. The recruiting then began, and before I knew it, I had the help of my immediate family. We researched the disorder and wrote letters to legislators and obstetricians /gynecologists. Now, a local OB-GYN practice screens regularly for PPCM. These strides were not enough for me, though. I wanted to take things further and looked into returning to school in 2010. I enrolled at West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) and studied hard to make the grades that would qualify me for the Associate Degree Nursing (RN) Program. It was at this point that I was introduced, after doing some research, to leadership at WKCTC. Success was on the horizon, and I had a desire to repay WKCTC Page 16 westkentucky.kctcs.edu supportive programs, I would have not been able to return to college. I applied for the Student Ambassador Program and am now a proud representative for WKCTC. As an ambassador I have been exposed to new opportunities and life lessons. A group of ambassadors and I have spent the past semester volunteering at various community/school events and organizations to be examples of leaders through serving. The events included Happening Hour, photo shoots, the Service Learning class, the Aspen Institute site visit and tour, Barbecue on the River, a leadership conference, Challenger Learning Center, Brain Injury/ Stroke Support Group, and Murray-Calloway County Hospital Ambulance Service. I have learned a plethora of new and useful knowledge and experienced the true importance of why support groups are so important. For example, the following excerpt best describes my learning experience during my teaching competency for the Brain Injury/Stroke Support Group: is directed by a speech pathologist who is currently or in the past has worked with As for the woman who shared the news of her family falling apart, I am pleased to say that several participants, including my wife, walked over to her and wrapped their arms around her and informed her that she was among a new family now. Being the husband of a disabled wife who suffers from a brain injury, it upsets me to hear that other men or women would have abandoned their loved ones. However, to see a group of people sharing, in most cases, a brain injury, either from stroke or a form of physical or chemical trauma to the brain, comfort another individual with westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 17 Giving Back (continued) such love and compassion was amazing. This event stands me. Recently I spent some time volunteering at the Murray Calloway County EMS and had the unique opportunity to work beside my dad. It is truly an honor to help others. Witnessing people honor. I was able to make their day a little easier. Finally, the lessons and friendships that I have experienced have been permanently chiseled into my mind. I sought out a means to pay back what has been done for me and my family, and in return, I have been blessed with endless experiences. Growth, maturity, and leadership are a part of the many blessing that have been rewarded for my efforts. As a boy, I spent a couple days during a summer vacation with my parents visiting During that trip, I experienced a large yellow slide riddled with bumps at the Illinois State Fair. This slide comes to mind, as a metaphor for life. On the way down there are ups sometimes we hit the sides, but in the end itâ€™s Page 18 westkentucky.kctcs.edu Volunteering: Receiving the Greater Reward By Danita F. Fisher Where would the United States be without those people We would be like some people feel after a natural disaster. Many of them feel hopeless and wondering how they are going to survive. If it were not for the people who volunteered during Hurricane Katrina, many victims would still be digging themselves out of the muck of New Orleans and the surrounding area. Volunteers carried water, prepared food, and helped to rebuild homes. Some people around the country volunteered their homes and shelters for people to come and live. Recently a tornado that was rated as an EF4 tornado hit the city of Joplin, MO. If it were not for the volunteers from the many different agencies and people from around the country most of the people would not have had water to drink or food to eat. Dictionary.com as â€œA person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking and a person who performs a service willingly and without pay. â€? A volunteer is not forced to serve, but willingly serves. Volunteering is serving others, not self. Many of our area communities have neighborhood watch programs that are staffed by volunteers. Because of what these people do our communities are safer. Volunteerism is a necessity for any community, state, and country to survive. These The service learning class has been one of the highlights of my time at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. In addition to the opportunity to meet many new people, I also have had the privilege to work with many bright and talented students at the school. Volunteerism is what helps to keep us as a country going. This year at West Kentucky Community and Technical College was different because of the Happening Hour for students. The Happening westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 19 A Different College Experience Cheyanna Jude Community and Technical College campus as a Commonwealth Middle College student. She said being in the Service Learning class differed greatly from her normal classroom experience. Receiving the Greater Reward (continued) Hour was one of the changes requested by the student body. The hour is a special time during the student schedule which allows student organizations and clubs to come together and meet without missing any class time. Because of the Happening Hour and the desire for it to be successful, many new activities were planned. One of the requirements of a student ambassador is being missions was to help to get the student body excited and involved in Happening Hour. I believe the campus activities also showed the student body that there are all kinds of learning opportunities at WKCTC. I had a teacher who talked about being in college and going through several semesters before getting involved. The difference after getting involved on campus was very different, she said. The teacher said she felt like a part of a group that was making a difference. The faculty, staff and WKCTC President Barbara Veazey are attentive and willing to help each student achieve their best. The Happening Hour gave students the opportunity to be a part of one or more of the campus groups. It was a chance for students with like interests to get together to talk, fellowship or plan events and activities. The learning experience gained was being a part of something that could help others, learning to work with others, planning and goal setting, and teamwork. Each month there was a student government meeting. The meetings gave students an opportunity to bring concerns and requests to the student government committee for consideration. The Student Government Association is for and about the student body. â€œThe Service Learning class taught me responsibility because you donâ€™t have a teacher constantly over your shoulder telling you what to do, This class has also taught me initiative. You have what needs to be done and do it.â€? -- Cheyanna Jude WKCTC received recognition from the prestigious Aspen Institute. The Institute recognized the school as one of the . The recognition was great for the college and the students. The ambassadors had the opportunity to be guides to the representatives from the Aspen Institute. The representatives were shown different parts of the campus. In addition to meetings with the faculty and the staff, there were meetings with several student ambassadors and other student organizations. We Page 20 westkentucky.kctcs.edu Receiving the Greater Reward (continued) were asked questions about the college and what we thought made WKCTC stand out more than other colleges and what the school had to offer to other students and the community. It was humbling to think about the opportunities afforded through WKCTC. The interview process helped prepare us for going on a job interview, learning how to intelligently answer questions, and not being intimidated by someone elseâ€™s title or position. I learned how to give positive uplifting answers. Being a part of a group means elevating others for the common good of all. It was a long process, and at times, I felt like a cheerleader for the college. But for me it was important for others to know that a community college is not a second-rate place to attend. Community college place to continue an education. I am at times saddened to see the small amount of students who are involved in the campus activities at the school. Some people complain about what is not happening, but never take the time to explore and get involved in what is going on or what it could be with their help. The Student Voice Forum was attended by many, but should have been students to be heard. If you want to see change, sometimes volunteered for the Salvation Army Christmas sign up. Even though my situation is not all I would like for it to be, many of the people who were signing up had even less than I did. Many have recently lost their jobs or are one of the longtime unemployed persons. I count myself fortunate that my needs are provided daily. Iâ€™m sure it is just as hard for the people to come in and ask for assistance. If someone who you know comes in, you can tell from their posture and the way they scan the room that they are uncomfortable coming to your table. If they have to come to your table, you have to know how to make them feel at ease and ask them the questions required. The experience renewed the thought that when you think you have it bad, look around you and see what someone else is going through. Community service should be a part of everyoneâ€™s life. Some people never have to ask for assistance. There are those of us who do know what it is like to be in need. When you have the opportunity to do it, pay it forward more than once. Service learning was an experience about service to others. There were also many outside events that an ambassador could be a part of. There was a group of us who signed up and volunteered to be a part of the citywide effort for the United Way. There were companies, large and small, and several individuals that volunteered. The United Way sponsored a day for people to help out at one or more of the agencies in Paducah. were given various duties to perform. We worked together to get everything done. The workers stated this was the biggest group they had ever had to come in to help out. They were so impressed with the ambassadors and the way the tasks were performed, that they asked if we could come back again and be regular helpers. We learned to be diligent in all things that were given to us to do even if we did not like the task. The day that had the greatest impression on me was the day I westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 21 Receiving the Greater Reward (continued) Being a servant is not an easy thing and many times our have others serve us. Going against your natural desire enables you to receive more enjoyment and a greater sense help others and make friends. Some of the friendships last a lifetime. When you are volunteering and helping others, you have an opportunity to change a life or perhaps a generation. I often see a commercial on television about a woman who talks about being displaced by a natural disaster and not understanding why the volunteers thanked her for the opportunity to help her, when she was the one who needed them. People thanked her because they felt they had received a greater reward in serving her. People today have their hands out and are always asking, depends on government handouts and freebies. We are An Awesome Experience Paducah native used the education she obtained at West Kentucky Community and Technical College to get a job as a phlebotomist before transferring into the pathology department of a local hospital. After working three years, the single mother of two decided to go back to WKCTC with the hope of enrolling in the respiratory care program. She said becoming a WKCTC ambassador was one of the best choices she had made in her college career. A volunteer is an agent for change. We cannot constantly take from others just to satisfy our own wants and desires. During my childhood years, the whole neighborhood looked out for me. I knew if I did something good or bad, the news would beat me home. Those people who looked out for my well-being were the original neighborhood watch program. They were a group of volunteers who did for others. Those of us who are involved in the Service Learning class and activities are probably hooked for life as volunteers. Being a part of the is trueâ€Ś the more you give the more you receive back. GEN 120 is not a class, it is an opportunity. â€œI have never been an outgoing person, and out of my shell. I wanted to feel like I belong here on campus, so I joined the ambassadors. Volunteering within the community has been a wonderful experience. I feel so important, and to represent such a great school is an honor and a privilege. I know that there are many great experiences to come. To be able to talk to others in my community and on campus feels good. Being an ambassador does require a lot of hard work and discipline, but it is worth it. To see the smile on others faces when I volunteer my time is awesome!â€? Page 22 westkentucky.kctcs.edu The Enormous Difference Volunteering Can Make By Samantha Puckett it has. I never thought about volunteering before. Volunteering was always something other people did or something to read about in the paper and hear about on television. It was not something I did or even thought about doing until I became a student ambassador at West Kentucky Community and Technical College. When I applied for the Student Ambassador Program, I thought that it would just be another activity to set me apart from others on future college applications and rĂŠsumĂŠs. I never imagined that being a student ambassador and volunteering would become such an important part of my life. It has led to invaluable life experiences and self-realizations that would not have happened if I had not become a student ambassador and begun volunteer work. free time can mean to a person in need. Before I became an ambassador and started volunteering my time, I was astonishingly self-involved. I never thought about helping other people, and my time was too valuable to me to look for ways to improve the lives of others. I thought only about myself and what would please me. I never thought that volunteering my time and helping others would be something that would make me happy, but healthy sense of self-worth, and the knowledge that my time is being used in a remarkable and deserving way. It has also helped me to become a more outgoing and social individual. When I contribute my time to my community, I about what I have accomplished, knowing that what Iâ€™m activities have broadened my view of the world, distribute my time. For instance, when I volunteered at Barbecue on the River working for the Basty Boys BBQ and the Family Service and making food. I did not anticipate that a proportion of the proceeds that I was helping to earn were actually going to aid the Family Service Society. The Family Service Society is a very commendable organization. According to Family Service Society Web westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 23 Di erence Volunteering Can Make (continued) site, this organization helps people who need assistance with rudimentary human essentials such as food, clothing, rent, utilities, and numerous other daily needs. In actuality, the proceeds I helped to earn for the Family Service Society are being used to help the citizens of the Paducah/McCracken County area. I feel very privileged to have been able to work with the people there and help them when they needed it. Donating my time to people in need brings me an amazing sense of self-worth. Everyone likes to feel needed at some the services I provide are truly needed. When I assisted the United Way Foundation with needed services for the Bear Creek Girl Scout House, I felt that providing sanitary and gardening services allowed the staff to provide programming and services for the Girl Scouts of Kentuckiana. thought. Not having been a Girl Scout while growing up, I did not have access to the opportunities that the Girl Scouts of the world enjoy today. I feel inexpressibly joyful to have been able to take part in helping the staff of the Girl Scout House with chores so that they have more time to devote in providing activities and opportunities for the girls. Parting with some of my free time is a small expense to pay for the good fortune of someone else. I like that my time is being put to good use. I have never been one to believe in wasting time, and the fact that my time is being used to serve others is a major satisfaction. The time that I have invested in volunteering for on-campus events has been well spent. I have learned a considerable amount about cultural diversity and the ways in which people interact with each other. The Hispanic Heritage event is a leading example of cultural diversity in this college. The time I spent volunteering at the Hispanic Heritage event was used to learn about the Michoacán history and culture. The Michoacáns invest a great amount of their time in maskmaking. The masks they create represent their status in society and abundant intricacy in wood working. The masks demonstrate that the Michoacáns value meticulousness and immense quality in their work. These are values that I can relate to. I believe that precision and quality are very important in everything that I do. Taking the time to learn about this culture has made me understand that I have more in common with people from different cultures than I Before becoming a student ambassador and volunteering, I was reserved and even a bit anti-social. I kept to myself and never put myself in a situation to become the focus of others’ attention. I did not converse with people I did not know or go out of my way to participate in class and group activities. I was quiet and cautious about everything I did. Since becoming an ambassador and volunteering, I have opened up more. The photo shoots and music videos that I have been a part of have really helped me socially. During these occasions, I got to know people better than I ever would have on my own, otherwise. This gave me a chance to be myself without worrying about what other people thought. to me in a hallway or if someone I do not know inquires student ambassador and volunteer. time in a way that means something to me and to others. Volunteering allows me to do just that. I help people in need and develop a growing sense of achievement in doing as myself. Offering my time to people in need brings me a sense of personal growth, heightens my self-esteem, gives me the knowledge that my time is being used in a constructive way, and helps me become a more socially active individual. I have changed throughout this semester with the help of the Student Ambassador Program and its volunteer requirements. I am astounded at what an enormous difference just a small portion of my free time can make to deserving people. Page 24 westkentucky.kctcs.edu You ARE a Winner Student Ambassador stood by the guard shack on the West Kentucky Community and Technical College campus waiting for runners in the “Take line. Since becoming a student ambassador, Darrin had volunteered to represent the college at many events tie event. He had worked with several faculty and staff members and even met a few community leaders. But as he stood in the October evening air, he saw a little boy slowly running toward the cone. The little boy, Darrin would later learn his name was Stephen, was sobbing, the big tears rolling down his cheek. Not knowing if the boy was hurt or what had happened, Darrin sprinted to catch up with Stephen and asked him what was wrong. Crying understood him to say, “I’m not going to win.” Darrin understood the magnitude of those words. “Are you you ARE already a winner.” conquer their fears. As a nontraditional student, I want to help people realize they can go to college and get a career, not just a job.” Darrin said working with the college’s faculty and staff has shown him the kind of leader he hopes to one day be. He was especially impressed with WKCTC President Barbara Veazey as she announced the prestigious award the college received last year from the Aspen Institute. “Seeing Dr. Veazey’s excitement and enthusiasm had the whole room pumped. It is great to attend a college where your president acts like a teenager getting ready to go on has for WKCTC is heartfelt, but there is something that even overshadows that, and that is her love for individual students. We have a president and model in which all other colleges and universities need to take note of how a roar of applauds and cheers from the crowd. He looked at his mother with a big smile and said, “I’m a winner, Mom!” Darrin said that experience was just one of the many unexpected treasured moments he has had as a student ambassador and through the service learning class. “That little boy did more for me than I ever did for him,” he said. “Blessings come in the smallest things.” Darrin said attending WKCTC changed his life. “It has taught me to reach and dream for things I used to think were unattainable. As a student ambassador, I want to help other people to obtain their dreams, goals and Darrin said he initially enrolled in the Service Learning class thinking volunteering would be an easy ‘A.’ “But that wasn’t the case,” he said. “I have worked harder to achieve my goal of receiving an ‘A’ in this class than any other class I have ever taken at WKCTC. This course has really shown me that if you share the smallest things in life, like your time with other people, it will touch their life, but it will affect yours too. There is something special about seeing a smile on someone else’s face, especially when you had a part in helping them achieve that.” westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 25 Good “Being an ambassador is an honor to me. I have never seen myself as a follower, always a leader, and I feel this this program, a student can be a leader and be shown how to be a great leader.” -- Kristie Morris “Being a part of this class has added a It has been nice to be part of an extracurricular-like activity again. I have made many new friends through this awareness of community needs. I now know of many different ways I can assist my community in areas that need help.” Page 26 westkentucky.kctcs.edu Advice “Since becoming a student ambassador here at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, I have had a lot of opportunities to do volunteer work throughout the college and many other organizations. Whether it be helping out at some of the surrounding high schools or doing tours on campus, each volunteer opportunity is a whole new experience. My favorite so far would have to be working at the elementary school programs and having lunch with some of the students as well as reading with them. Some of them don’t have a very good home life, and just spending a couple hours a week with them can have a huge impact. Whenever I’m not there, I always get told that they have been asking about me and miss me. Just knowing that I have such a huge impact on a child’s life means the world to me.” westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 27 My Time is Your Time By Lindsey Lamb Volunteering gives you an opportunity to change lives, including your own. It is a good feeling to volunteer to help others in need. If youâ€™d like to support a cause but canâ€™t afford to donate money, you can donate your time instead. Helping others in need is such an important part of the American way of life. Volunteers are the most important resource community organizations have. The ability of people to work willingly together for the betterment of their community and themselves is a valuable resource. The image of the volunteer has changed over time. Gone is the stereotype of the middle-aged housewife with time they may be a teenager learning to manage responsibility I was very excited when I found out that WKCTC was going to have a student ambassador team, and I was even of that team. I had done a lot of volunteering in my life because my mother always thought that it was important that I give back, because we never had any money to give. But I had time, and time is what I gave. enjoying a new friendship as a volunteer reader at the community library. Some people volunteer because they just love helping others. Their own joy of giving and making a difference makes them feel valued and valuable to the ones they are serving. Others volunteer because they feel a need to give back to a community that has been good to them, and they want to express their gratitude by paying it forward into their community. This is powerful leverage that can build very special people whose gift of time and effort warrants special consideration. They should always be encouraged organization. I gave my time to was the United Way, I met several other students at the Salvation Army on Trimble Street, and from there we went to the Girl Scouts of America something that was dear to my heart because I was a Brownie and a Girl Scout for many years. It was fun for that surrounded me. That brought back good memories and a time when my life was completely worry free. While there I helped a lady named Amy to clean out a back storage room and get things organized. She was very sweet, and I really enjoyed my time with her. The Girl Scouts of America taught me some very important values that I still use to this day. They will always mean a lot to me. On my next adventure, I went to the Salvation Army to help with all of the Angel Tree donations. A lady named Sally was working with me. We were to take several greeting cards out of several different boxes and make gift bags to give all of the people who were I was brought up with the idea that helping others would help me grow as a person of value and compassion. My mother was very careful to make sure I was developing a strong inner core for myself and not simply using volunteer work to compensate for my own lack of selflove. As she taught me about giving, she would also question why I was volunteering for this or that. Page 28 westkentucky.kctcs.edu My Time is Your Time (continued) signing up for the Angel Tree. That was some hard work, even though it sounds easy. We loaded about 300 bags with at least 100 different cards and then we had to move all of the boxes to the other side of the room and stack all of the bags in the corner. I was worn out after the eight hours I spent there! I grew up very poor. My mother was a single mother and really had it rough. If it was not for the Angel Tree, my brothers, sister and I would not have had a Christmas or a Christmas dinner, so for me to be able to give back to them meant so much to me. I wish I had more time in my life because I would give more of my time to them. They will always hold a special place in my heart. The time at the Salvation Army was the best feeling of all my time volunteering. I do feel like I have grown from this experience. I love people. I love giving. I love knowing that I made a difference. I am grateful to have had the chance to meet so many new people. I was proud to represent WKCTC because this school has given me hope to have a better life for my family. I suppose that sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. For example, if we were to go through our life without any obstacles, we would be crippled. We would not be as strong as what we could have been. I try to take every opportunity I can to make change. I have been there more than once and that is why I believe that it is so important to give back and to help those that are in need. I don’t believe that anyone in this life wants to struggle. Not everyone has the hopes and dreams that others have, but as long as I have the time and the heart, I will always give all that I can to help my fellow human. Gaining Personal Insight , a sophomore majoring in criminal justice, participated in various campus activities and community events as a West Kentucky Community and Technical College student ambassador. The president of the Criminal Justice Club and a member of the Student Judicial Appeals Board, Eric reached out to the community by volunteering for many community organizations including the United Way and a Reading pal program for elementary school children. Eric was chosen WKCTC’s Student of the Month at for February 2012. “My incorporated experiences have allowed me personal insight on simple issues that some individuals may take for granted. In some instances, some never even stop to consider the subject matter. For the sake of the greater good, I’ve learned to think outside the box; focusing my attention on topics that hinder countless individuals unnecessarily. United, we are able to select logical approaches to projects that with the shared approach of teamwork and common sense, any challenge can be tamed. As we listen and take heed of others’ needs in relation to character, community and unique autonomy, there is always an opportunity to grow and show the capabilities asserted within ‘combined-wisdom’ and abilities and power.” --Eric Youngblood westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 29 Pay It Forward By Brandi Bennett I was originally interested in becoming a student ambassador and participating in the service considerations. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve always enjoyed helping others in the community, but only when it was convenient for me. My experience so far as a student ambassador has really made me realize that paid college credits opportunity for social learning, sense of accomplishment abilities available from service learning are just as helpful In the process of completing my contact hours, I experienced many things, and was provided many opportunities for social learning in real world settings. I had never participated in a charitable run before this runs. These events helped me learn better organizational skills by working with people in charge of organizing the races. I never would have thought it demanded so much planning and cooperation of volunteers to make it run as smooth as silk! I have always tried to exercise my natural leadership potential when the opportunity presented itself, but those opportunities had been recently lacking in my life until I joined the Student Ambassador Program. Planning my participation with other ambassadors really made me work on my networking skills to get everyone on the same page. someone’s dedicated efforts to organize such things when working with multiple schedules. Many times the event coordinators were very busy and just needed “everything” Page 30 westkentucky.kctcs.edu You really can’t be sure of your leadership abilities until you’ve been able to put them to use. I’m thankful that the Student Ambassador Program let me exercise my “leadership muscles,” which have since been put to work multiple times during the Physical Therapist Assistant classes I’m currently enrolled in. While there have been stressful times for me as a student ambassador, such as writing a paper that counts for 30 my busy schedule, overall I would highly recommend this program to any student. By being a student ambassador, students can really impress friends with their familiarity of the campus and the many people who work here, and students make some connections with people who can help them both as a student now and after graduation. The best part of this program is that it gets you out into the community helping others. Once you realize how good it feels inside to be a part of helping less fortunate people, you start looking for those opportunities outside of the service learning environment! I’ve really become much more aware of neighborhoods and communities that make up Paducah and how big a part of the community WKCTC really is. Almost anyone I met during these events would have some connection to the college, such as being a previous student or knowing someone attending currently. I feel that being a student ambassador has really helped me become a more organized, caring individual. I’ve been recognized multiple times, both on campus and in the community, as a student ambassador and student worker by people who ask for directions to their class, library closes at night. Each time I’m able to help another student or faculty member, I am again rewarded with feelings of accomplishment and community. Once you get in the habit of volunteering, you continue to look for ways to help others and recognize when others are trying to help you. I think that is the take home message I’ve gotten from this course – pay it forward! westkentucky.kctcs.edu (270) 534-3069 Page 31 Higher Education Begins Here WKCTC does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies: Jipaum Askew-Robinson, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Coordinator, at West Kentucky Community and Technical College, 4810 Alben Barkley Thompson. westkentucky.kctcs.edu