Hey everyone! It’s Zekiye. I’m back with an update on the second half of my service year. Just a reminder I am serving up in University Center, Michigan with Delta College. Since I last updated you all, I have spent a lot of my time coordinating our now bi-annual Race to College Event which was on April 7th. I recruited two new schools and one returning school to bring eight fourth and fifth grade classes to Delta College to learn about health and wellness and college access. Some of the activities we had for kids including setting up a business station where the students could operate their own bike shops and a station where they learned all about different parts of bicycles and bike safety. It was really great to see the kids have fun and it gave college kids at my site the opportunity to engage with youth while completing some of their graduation requirements in civic engagement.
In addition that, my department has been working on orientations for incoming students. Delta College hasn’t required an orientation for new students before but they have been shown to improve academic performance and retention. We lead tours and run academic orientation presentations, teaching students about various resources on campus, where they are located, and how to access them. Additionally, we tell them what they can expect coming to campus such as how many hours they should be studying a week per class and different ways they can pay for college. We will be gathering data to see how this orientation impacts students’ performance and graduation rates and are currently tweaking the orientation with student input so that we can make sure it is as effective as possible.
Lastly, I spent May 19th serving with AmeriCorps members throughout my region at the Russ Mawby Signature Service Project in Flint. Collectively we removed over 10,000 gallons of illegal dumping and approximately 700 additional pounds of bulk waste from various residencies and the river trail. Additionally, we prepared over 100 law enforcement appreciation bags for our public safety partners in both Flint and Saginaw and made 175 cards to tell children participating in summer programs this year that they are supported by the AmeriCorps community. Overall there were 115 volunteers representing 17 AmeriCorps programs across the state and 14 community partners. It was a really great experience to not only make a difference but to also get to talk with AmeriCorps members in different programs, like the Flint Urban Safety Corp and members of the NCCC. Additionally, we had several community members join in to help as they saw us serving, many of whom would help take care of abandoned properties by cutting the grass whenever they cut their own. It was really a demonstration of the community pride and support that exists within Michigan and I am so thankful I got to take part in it! Until next time, happy serving!
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!