Hello friends! This is Betsie Schoedel, from Alma College, giving you a little update of my life in the Alma Bubble. As some of you may know, I attended Alma College for undergrad and loved every moment of it. Needless to say, I am very excited and have been very fortunate to continue my involvement in the Alma Community as an AmeriCorps VISTA. As a VISTA, I learned that Gratiot County has a very large need for programs to push youth students to pursue higher education because only about 23% of the adults (ages 25-64) in Gratiot County possess at least an associate’s degree.
It has almost been 3 months, so many things have happened and I am continuing to grow and love my position more each day! My favorite aspect of the service position is capacity building with one of our community partners, Donald L. Pavlik Middle School in Alma.
My major role with this school is to bring in new volunteers each week so that the youth may have positive role models and receive assistance with their spelling and math skills. I am SUPER excited because the Boy’s Alma College Lacrosse team has offered to help out on November 19th! To have such a large group help out will hopefully make a positive impact for the youth and will act as an example for other Alma College organizations to volunteer their time as well. The Boy’s Alma College Lacrosse team has even offered to help out on November 15th for Kid’s Night Out. Kid’s Night Out, is one Saturday a month where elementary school youth have a Lock-In at the Alma High school for a few hours of games, activities, and fun with friends and college students. Our last Kid’s Night Out event had over 260 youth students attend and the fundraised grossed about $3,000 (which will be used to sustain the After School Program).
I enjoy Kid’s Night Out because I get to bring my awesome College Positive Volunteer’s (C.P.V.) and other students from Alma College, and together we host activities for the youth that secretly implant the idea of pursuing higher education—but don’t tell them that! They just think that they are having fun with us.
What is so awesome about being a C.P.V.?! Well, let me tell you! First off, if I help out with the training, I always bring candy, and everyone loves candy. Two, you gain the skills, resources and conversation pieces you need to connect with youth (K-12 students) and bring up higher education opportunities. *SPOILER ALERT* I get to help C.P.V. certify the crew of AmeriCorps*VISTA’s who will be attending the Lansing training on the 14th! Super stoked to help pass on the knowledge to my fellow VISTA’s.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!