‘Labors of Love’
Connecticut College has earned a spot on the President's 2012 Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in recognition of extraordinary volunteer efforts by the college and its students. This is the fourth time Connecticut College has been included on the list since it was first published in 2006.
The honor roll, compiled yearly by the Corporation for National and Community Service, recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service-learning programs.
"Connecticut College's mission is to educate our students to be citizens in a global society, and our commitment to service is essential to fulfilling that educational mission," said President Leo I. Higdon Jr. said. "This important honor recognizes the impact of that commitment on our students and the community."
Each year, more than 500 Connecticut College students intern, work, study and volunteer in local schools, agencies and other non-profits. Tracee Reiser, associate dean for community learning and director of Connecticut College's Office of Volunteers for Community Service, said dedicated students, staff and faculty work with members of the greater New London community to develop relationships and projects that have mutually beneficially outcomes.
"Through these partnerships, our students deepen their knowledge and acquire citizenship skills," Reiser said, "and our community partners increase their capacities to deliver services and impact in positive ways the environment, economic development, educational achievement and health and wellness."
Senior Brigida Palatino, who has volunteered with the College's Project Kids, Books, Athletics (KBA since her freshman year, said the College's commitment to service fosters a culture of engagement that encourages students to learn from the community.
"Through KBA, not only am I able to teach the kids about the fun of being active and encourage them to love learning in and out of school, but these children also bring so much appreciation and excitement to the program," she said. "The act of volunteering is a win-win for everyone because there is no limit to what we can learn from each other."
Palatino added that the staff in the College's Office of Volunteers for Community Service make it easy for students to find volunteer opportunities that fit their passions.
"They are always looking for more opportunities for students to get involved and figuring out the logistics to make it happen," she said.