“I knew that giving an afternoon of my time to this unique park would be the smallest token I could give back to this piece of history,” said Potomac State College student Maddy Buss. Buss volunteered to clean up trash at the Flight 93 National Park in Somerset County, Pennslyvania. While Buss volunteered she had the chance to speak with families of victims who were aboard Flight 93. “I don’t remember everything she said to me about her relative, but I remember exactly how she made me feel: heavy-hearted but incredibly enlightened.” Buss’s experience had a great emotional impact on her that, she says, will always last with her.
PSC gives students opportunities to get involved in giving back to their community.
WVUe coordinator/professor Andrea Schafer has made it a goal to help students develop life skills as well as career skills. In the WVUe curriculum, students are given an Outreach Engagement Assignment in which they are asked to find a way to give back or engage the community. “Life skills are just as important as career skills,” said Schafer. It gives the students an opportunity to “step out of their comfort zone.”
Schafer sees a lasting impact this assignment leaves on some students
“They see a personal impact or career impact,” said Schafer. Tori Kane participated in giving meals to veterans. After speaking with them, Kane decided she wanted to go into the military.
“I think it’s important to show that we aren’t selfish and only take care of what we benefit from,” said PSC student Cassidy Aldridge, when talking about giving back to her community. Aldridge works at her local YMCA as a front desk staff, child care staff and as a managing assistant. Aldridge found herself staying past her shift, helping the maintenance staff clean. “I noticed how hard the maintenance staff’s job was, so I decided to help out.” Aldridge was offered a higher-level position as a party handler in result of her extra volunteer work. Aldridge expressed that volunteering made her helpful and led to more opportunities at her job.
Not only does this assignment help students to develop communication and interpersonal skills, it also reflects two more of Orlikoff’s core values. Schafer says that accountability and appreciation are also very important here. By volunteering students are showing accountability “by showing up and going through with what they said they would do,” said Schafer. “Appreciation is realized when a student discovers they have a role and a voice on their campus and in their community,” expressed Schafer. WVUe isn’t the only way students are getting involved, however.
PSC Clubs host events that give students opportunities to fundraise or participate in the community.
This year The Intro to Event Logistics class hosted a toy drive Nov. 15th and 16th. During this event, gifts were collected and distributed through the local schools to students/families in need. “I think it is important for students to get involved in the community because it makes a difference in the lives of others,” said event coordinator Amy Weaver. “The realization that you have impacted someone’s life is a huge reward.”
During the month of October, PSC students and Morgantown campus students joined together to complete projects in various Mineral County areas. These projects included painting at the Mineral County Family Resources site as well as cutting grass, power washing sidewalks and cleaning the parking lots at the Mineral County Health Department. Students also worked on similar projects in the city of Piedmont.
PSC clubs are also active in the community. Catamounts Against Cancer has hosted Relay for Life events in the past. Catamounts Against Cancer raised over $1,000 dollars at a mini Relay for Life in October of 2016. This money was then donated to American Cancer Society and the Mineral County Relay for Life. The Student Government also participated in donating their time to paint a house in the community and placed American flags on the quad in honor of veterans for Veteran’s Day.
“Our campus is an integral part of this community, and by giving back we are showing the community around us that we care,” said Weaver.