Five Eastern Connecticut State University students, including Mayra Santos Acosta of Archdale, have been hired as student leaders for the Center of Community Engagement for the fall semester. The CCE coordinates Eastern's volunteer efforts in community service opportunities across Willimantic.
Santos Acosta, a senior majoring in health sciences, coordinates the CCE programs for the St. Joseph Living Center virtual Skype calls and the elementary video project.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteer opportunities for Eastern students during the fall semester are limited, with most being moved to virtual programs. These include virtual meetings, tutoring and video production projects for elementary school students. Regardless of the limitations, the CCE has spent the summer planning on how to provide services to the community through collaboration with student leaders, volunteers and staff.
The work of student leaders includes reaching out to volunteers, coordinating projects and attending each program with their volunteers. Many past and current CCE leaders say that the volunteer opportunities they have had have opened them up socially, provided leadership and networking experience, and helped them decide their future career paths.
The High Point University Community Center was filled Oct. 3 with science experiment materials, nonperishable snack items and students writing notes for the hundreds of community children that will receive the packages.
Earlier this semester, HPU’s Mobile Lab and Biology Club student scientists created the “At-Home Science Experiment Extravaganza” and asked families and teachers in the community to register a child to receive a kit. They received an overwhelming response of 150 registrants requesting more than 1,300 kits.
Students had several sessions set up that included assembling experiment materials, adding care items, writing notes and decorating/sanitizing tasks. During the experiment session, students poured oil into bottles, used pipettes to add food coloring into tubes and added Alka-Seltzer tablets all to gallon bags. During the care session, students packed fruit snacks, oatmeal, granola bars and other small snacks and toiletries. The final session was the decorating and sanitizing tasks where students added instructions for each experiment, decorated, sanitized, sealed and marked the box for distribution.
Other HPU organizations that were involved include Student Government Association, Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Alpha Delta Theta Christian Service Sorority and the Natural Sciences Fellows.
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