My name is Gabriela Sullen and I am AmeriCorps VISTA member serving out my year of service at Oakland University. I work on college access efforts as well as the OU Pontiac initiative, which bridges the gap and provides resources and services to both parties.
This past week was College Application Week and I had an amazing time working with students! Originally it was not in my VAD to do direct service but there was a need in order to help and I was pleased with the changes. I was able to recruit 22 volunteers in order to help service the students of Auburn Hills as well as some in Pontiac. The volunteers that I recruited were students from Oakland University and were spread out in shifts between 3 high schools. I filled in between the 3 schools whenever I could and where there was a need. My coworker and I were also able to attend a college tour of U of M Flint with some students this past Friday, which went really well. I made sure that students were engaging by asking questions and taking advantage of this opportunity. Beyond that the next goal is to recreate a parent university here at Oakland. The idea is that if the parents are involved and educated in their child’s future, then they will become invested in their child’s higher education goals.
As we move forward with the OU Pontiac initiative I think it’s important that we assess the needs of the community members first. There will be a town hall meeting on November 14, in which Oakland and Pontiac will provide members of both communities an update on what exactly is going on. The Mayor Of Pontiac will be in attendance as well as a presentation from Oakland University on how they will participate in this initiative and how this can be a mutually beneficial partnership.
Each blog post was written by one of our VISTAs!