Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 4
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Center for Community Service expands programs

Two student-created community service programs, The Youth Adventure Program (Y.A.P.) and Adopt-A-Grandparent (A.A.G.), have been incorporated into the Center for Community Service (C.C.S.) this semester.

Junior Elena Gustafson started Y.A.P. during her first year at Whitman.

According to Lina Menard, the coordinator for C.C.S., Gustafson started Y.A.P. to fill a void in the community.

“She realized that there really wasn’t a program at Whitman or in the Walla Walla community that provided training and helped people to take kids out into the community…to play and learn more about the environment,” said Menard.

Now that Y.A.P. is a part of the Center for Community Service, Gustafson serves as the Y.A.P. intern.

Every student-run community service program that’s part of the Center has a paid student intern. The student-run programs at C.C.S. include Y.A.P., Adopt-A-Grandparent, the Story Time Project and the Mentor program. In addition, a community outreach intern coordinates seasonal and ongoing C.C.S. projects.

Menard emphasized the importance of student interns in the success of the community service programs.

“Because we’ve been able to provide internships for each of our student-run programs, it has allowed us to give some committed time to coordinating the program, not just volunteering,” she said.

Adopt-A-Grandparent is the other student-run program that was integrated in to the Center for Community Service this spring. Sophomore Matt Manley started the program in the spring of 2008. He gathered a few friends together to “adopt grandparents” at the Washington Odd Fellows Home, a nursing home on Boyer Avenue.

“This past fall, he was coordinating, along with [sophomore] Kelsie Butts, to connect Whitman students with residents of Odd Fellows,” said Menard.

They managed to get about 20 Whitman students involved in the program last semester. Now that Adopt A Grandparent is part of the Center for Community Service, it’s likely that the program will grow even stronger: incorporation into the Center has its benefits.

“Because we work with so many contacts in the community, we can help students to network to figure out other resources that they might be able to work with,” said Menard.

Incorporation ensures that the program will continue into the future, despite fluctuations in student interest.

“It helps over time for there to be a little bit more continuity in the way the program is run,” she said.

Although incorporation into the Center has its benefits, a student-run program can still thrive independently.

“Both of these programs have been quite successful before coming under the Center umbrella,” said Menard, referring to Y.A.P. and A.A.G.

The Whitman community will benefit from the recent changes, though.

“Since the focus of course for the Center for Community Service is to get Whitman students, faculty and staff involved in the Walla Walla community, it makes sense for them to be a part of the center,” she said.

For more information about the Center for Community Service or any of its student-run programs, check out www.whitman.edu/content/community_service or visit the Center for Community Service office in Reid Campus Center (room 208).

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