Author Archives: rbishop

Farewell to Dr. Anthony Siracusa

It is with mixed emotions that we announce Dr. Anthony Siracusa will be leaving Colorado College in mid-March for a new position as the inaugural Director of Community Engagement in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement at the University of Mississippi. I personally, along with the rest of the CCE team, am incredibly grateful for Anthony’s contributions to the CCE.  Anthony consistently went above and beyond in his role as assistant director to enhance the capacity of the CCE and leaves us in a better place than when he began.  Since joining our team in the fall of 2017 after receiving his PhD in History from Vanderbilt, Anthony has led the student-facing work of the CCE – passionately, thoughtfully, and strategically deepening civic learning and development both inside and outside of the classroom. He played an integral role in shaping the direction of the office through our strategic planning process and has provided skillful leadership to CCE staff.  He has been a strong representative and advocate for the CCE throughout the institution, and shared his experience and insights in talks and presentations at CC and beyond.

One of Anthony’s greatest legacies for Colorado College and the CCE has been advocating for, institutionalizing, and developing our Community Engaged Fellowship program.  In its pilot year when Anthony joined our staff, the program is now a robust, intentionally-designed 4-year fellowship with 25 students.  He has laid out a 4-year, developmental civic co-curriculum for fellows, founded a student leadership team, and helped establish a High Impact Partnership Initiative to identify core partners to lay a foundation for meaningful student work.  He has strategically and collaboratively worked with Advancement to fundraise for the program, with Admissions to coordinate the application process with that of the college, with Financial Aid to integrate the fellowship into the aid process, with Global Education to adapt to regulations for international students, and with Student Employment to brainstorm the best ways to support students financially and uphold accountability in the program.

Anthony has helped transform the CCE into a bustling hub of student activity, building strong relationships with students and taking seriously the value of “co-creation” – working to cultivate student leadership in all CCE programs.  Our Public Achievement, BreakOut, and CoOp programs, as well as Community Engaged Scholars and Leaders pathways all engage more students and are more developed, intentional, impactful programs at the end of Anthony’s tenure.  He has also individually advised countless community-engaged students with care and skill, helping them to discern their passions and pathways, and supported numerous Watson Fellowship applicants to find their voice and dreams.

Anthony has been a true educator, seeking to integrate community engagement with teaching and learning, building on and extending the educational mission of the college.  His scholarship engages with and contributes to our understanding of social change and civic leadership.  His book, tentatively titled The World as it Should Be: Religion and Nonviolence before King, is under contract at the University Of North Carolina Press.   He co-taught an “Engaged Journalism” class with me in the spring of 2019, taught a community organizing adjunct this fall, and is teaching an Introduction to Community Engagement course to our Fellows.  He has also worked to integrate his expertise and skills as a historian into his student work, and has co-written a chapter for Discussing Democracy with a student, was active in the Digital Liberal Arts consortium, and has worked to build his skills around public knowledge-making and identifying untold narratives and areas of knowledge that have been excluded from platforms such as Wikipedia.  And finally, Anthony has worked to establish a robust curriculum for our Public Achievement program, and provided rigorous programming for Community Engaged Fellows.  These examples show how seriously he takes learning alongside the classroom, and the way that he has sought to elevate the expectations and learning outcomes for our students within these programs.

After March 13th, Anthony will pursue new opportunities to enable him the chance to grow professionally.  The CCE is deeply grateful for Anthony’s 2.5 years of service, and wish him the best in all future endeavors! Please join me in congratulating him, and wishing him luck on this next step in his professional journey.

Dr. Jordan Travis-Radke
CCE Director

Inside Out Youth Services – High Impact Partner Spotlight

Recent findings by the Human Rights Campaign show that only 26% of LGBTQ+ youth report always feeling safe in the classroom. 70% have been bullied for their sexual orientation. 11% have been sexually attacked or raped because of their sexual orientation. One in three LGBTQ+ adults experience mental illness. They are twice as likely as heterosexual adults to have an alcohol or drug use disorder. LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than heterosexual youth. These and more stats can be found at the links at the bottom of this article.

In a culture that can be uncaring, if not outright hostile, Inside Out is an organization dedicated to helping LGBTQ+ youth. Their main focus is providing a safe place to be for local LGBTQ+ youth age 13 to 22. A place to make friends, do work, and never worry about judgment. A place to be yourself. Four days a week, after school, they welcome youth into their space, creating a community of acceptance and togetherness. The organization will be 30 years old next year and is the only drop-in LGBTQ+ youth center in Colorado Springs. 

Located in downtown Colorado Springs, Inside Out aims to empower, educate, and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth from southern Colorado. Their education work includes peer support groups, education for youth and parents about transgender experience, education about healthy relationships, and more. They work to educate outside of their own youth community: they teach ‘LGBTQ+ 101’ and ‘Trusted Adults’ classes (pronouns, how to build trust, how to have hard conversations) to parents, teachers, therapists, the Colorado Springs Police Department, and more. Their advocacy work tries to build a better community for LGBTQ+ youth. One current project works with schools to learn about and develop spaces in the school where youth feel safe.

Inside Out Youth Services is also one of the CCE’s High Impact Partners, part of an initiative to develop deep, multifaceted, mutually-beneficial relationships between CC and the Colorado Springs Community. Several Public Interest Fellows and Community Engaged Fellows from CC have worked with Inside Out. Most recently, a sociology class collaborated with Inside Out to perform research and data analysis. 

The Inside Out staff have deep ties back to Colorado College: both the Executive Director and Youth Program Manager are CC graduates. The Development Director was a curator at the Fine Arts Center, and two CC students work as Peer Program Assistants right now. Angelina Chen ’22, a CC sophomore and Community Engaged Fellow from Guangzhou, China, is one of those students. In her first year at CC she explored several local nonprofits in the Colorado Springs area. Inside Out struck her as being a remarkably connected organization. Angelina has worked behind-the-scenes helping with their advocacy to government work, and this year began working with youth, teaching them how to be active community members. She says working with the youth energizes her, she’s always impressed by their social awareness and the level of discourse they’re able to have. 

Inside Out is looking to expand the opportunities volunteers from CC have to help the organization. They always need volunteers for behind-the-scenes work like communication and events like the Queer Prom they organize every year. Help with advocacy in government is also a potential goal. For more information or to discuss a partnership, contact the CCE, or the Youth Program Manager Candace Woods ’13 at info@insideoutys.org.  

Specifically to the LGBTQ+ students at Colorado College, Inside Out wants you to know that you are welcome. This is not an opportunity restricted to some other group, this is a place for you. Learn more at insideoutys.org. Marve Aguinaga ’21 from Escondido, California, is a second CC student working at Inside Out this year. When describing why the work was important, they said, “There are a lot of challenges that come with being queer in this country, and there are certainly challenges here in the Springs, but it can be easier when there are people that can share some of your burden with you.”

Thank you to Candace Woods ’13, Marve Aguinaga ’21, and Angelina Chen ’22 for their help with this story.

– Eric Ingram 

Sources:
(1) https://www.hrc.org/resources/2018-lgbtq-youth-report
(2) https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/LGBTQ_MentalHealth_OnePager.pdf 

 

High Impact Partner Spotlight : Rocky Mountain Field Institute

Colorado College is blessed by its location: Colorado has more than 23 million acres of public land, and the City of Colorado Springs itself has more than 9,000 acres of parkland. One of the largest draws to Colorado College is the easy access to so much wilderness. But this gift is no secret, and the sheer number of people who enjoy the landscape are a threat to its existence. What keeps our public lands from deteriorating under such heavy use?

Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) envisions a world where volunteer work creates vibrant and healthy natural systems that are respected and cared for by the public. They are a Colorado Springs-based non-profit whose mission is to conserve and protect the public lands of Southern Colorado, with the help of the public. Rather than just employing people to do work on public lands, RMFI focuses on volunteerism. Their philosophy is that by involving the public in the preservation of nature, they can foster a better connection to the outdoors and help people take personal responsibility for protecting the environment.

CC students Madeline Ng ’21 and Mikaela Burns ’19 on a BreakOut trip.

RMFI hosts hundreds of volunteer work-days each year, including nearly every weekend day from April through November. Because the population of the Pikes Peak Region is growing fast, the risk of damage that can be done to local ecosystems is growing. RMFI enlists the help of thousands of volunteers to help preserve our public lands against this risk. In addition, to help maintain this spirit of environmental responsibility, RMFI incorporates environmental education into every project. Teaching volunteers about erosion, ecology, botany, or whatever else is relevant during volunteer workdays helps cement and spread the ethos that will keep our environment alive and well. To ensure the work they do is really worth doing, RMFI also facilitates research about environmental stewardship. They monitor the effectiveness of their trail and restoration techniques after they are completed, to ensure the projects are working as intended, and to help tailor their treatments and techniques to each new project location.

This year, RMFI was selected to be one of the first local non-profits designated as High Impact Partners with the CCE, meaning they have a deep, multifaceted relationship with CC that both parties hope to be mutually beneficial and more powerful than is possible with a shallower partnership. RMFI hosts an NSO Priddy Trip and a Spring Break Program in Utah every year. They also employ work-study interns and Community Engaged Fellows from CC, host non-work study internships, and partner with CC professors to run education class workdays in the field.

Madeline Tucker ‘19 is one such student. As an intern at RMFI, she works primarily as a marketing assistant, designing promotional and outreach materials and supporting the messaging of RMFI. She describes the RMFI team as a “kind, driven, passionate group of people,” but the fact that this is her third year interning with RMFI is the best endorsement of the organization.

Guffey Gorge. (Photo By Jguff330 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56679727)

BreakOut, a CCE program that partners to run student trips on Saturdays, block breaks, and spring break, routinely works with RMFI. During the first block break of this school year, CC-student Patricia Pi ‘21 helped lead a trip to Paradise Cove (Guffey Gorge), a Bureau of Land Management recreation area commonly used as a cliff jumping spot. Along with 10 other students, she helped rebuild the trail that leads down to the cove. According to Patricia it was hard work involving moving and breaking rocks to build steps, but it was also extremely rewarding and satisfying.

RMFI’s 2019 field season is winding down, but will resume in full force next April, providing CC students more opportunities to support our local parks and open spaces without requiring any previous experience with outdoor stewardship. Find out about these opportunities and sign up at their online calendar at www.rmfi.org/calendar. Or, for a more robust experience, check out their Earth Corps program, a 21-day summer backcountry field course which allows environmentally-minded undergraduate students to live and learn in the classroom of the Colorado wilderness by clicking here.

Thanks to Molly Mazel, Madeleine Tucker, and Patricia Pi for their help with this story.

– Eric Ingram

Elam Boockvar-Klein ’20 Selected As Newman Civic Fellow

Elam Boockvar-Klein ’20 has been selected as CC’s latest participant in Campus Compact’s Newman Civic Fellowship. This award recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

Boockvar-Klein started his involvement at CC during his first year, when he began work in political advocacy around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has also co-lead an after-school program at an underserved local middle school, where he helps younger students develop their own  community organizing skills.  A sociology major, Boockvar-Klein sees clear connections between localized and globalized systems of oppression, and believes the key to effecting community-level change is “to first understand the big-picture policy and economic structures at play.” You can read President Tiefenthaler’s nomination and Boock-var Klein’s full personal statement on the Campus Compact website.

Boockvar-Klein’s one-year fellowship will begin next fall. As part of the fellowship, Campus Compact will provide Boockvar-Klein with a variety of exclusive virtual and in-person opportunities and events, including a national conference of Newman Civic Fellows, that are designed to provide training and nurture fellows’ assets and passions to develop strategies to achieve social change.

This year’s class of Newman Civic fellows is made up of 262 community-committed students representing Campus Compact member colleges and universities from 41 states, Washington, D.C., Mexico, and Greece.

Elam Boockvar-Klein has also received a 2017-18 Venture Grant for his project “Asylum Advocacy: Investigating the Changing Policies of the Deportation Machine in the Rural South,” as well as the CCE’s 2017-18 Community Collaborator Award.

Congratulations, Elam!

Introducing our new Assistant Director!

It is our joy to share with you that Anthony Siracusa is now the CCE’s Assistant Director!

Anthony’s promotion aims to honor and value the role he has increasingly played in the office this year – which really has been assisting the direction of the office. The role of the “Engaged Learning Specialist” was envisioned to coordinate student programs with learning components, and Anthony has excelled at doing so – yet alongside this, he has taken a leadership role in directing the student-facing work of the office more broadly by increasingly guiding and advising other CCE staff.  He played an integral role in shaping the direction of the office throughout our strategic planning process and continues to shape our direction in thoughtful, deliberate ways.  And, he is a strong representative and advocate for the CCE throughout the institution.

Anthony brought with him and continues to cultivate a strong background in student learning in the classroom, experience in building curriculum for civic development programs alongside the classroom, and draws on his research interests to inform and center this work.

You can learn more about Anthony by visiting his staff bio page here.

We are ever grateful that Anthony has joined our staff and thankful for the ways in which he has built capacity for community engagement work at the college. Please join us in congratulating Anthony!

Jordan Radke
CCE Director

2018 El Pomar Scholarship Recipients

Each year, two incoming CC students from Colorado are awarded the distinguished El Pomar Scholarship, which helps them experience an exceptional liberal arts education, gain valuable hands-on exposure to the El Pomar Foundation’s work in the nonprofit sector, and encourages them to pursue a career in public policy or nonprofit work by covering the annual cost of tuition and fees, standard dorm room, and meal plan at Colorado College. In order to be considered for the scholarship, candidates must be a high school senior, a Colorado resident, eligible for need-based financial aid and have demonstrated leadership in, and passion for, community service and public policy. For 2017-18, the annual value of this scholarship was over $68,000.

In April, all finalists met and interviewed with Carly Stafford and Will Schiffelbein from the Office of Admission, and Richard Bishop from the Collaborative for Community Engagement. We’re pleased to announce that this year’s recipients of the El Pomar Scholarship are Deksyos Damtew and Abby Mercier!

Deksyos Damtew

Deksyos Damtew moved from Ethiopia to the United States with his family at the age of 3.  With the support of his family, he has overcome numerous obstacles, including cultural, linguistic and economic barriers, to become a respected leader in many different areas in high school. A successful International Baccalaureate student at Lakewood High School, Damtew has been active in soccer and cross-country, the president of both the Debate Club and DECA, an organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs, and a member of the local KIVA Club, which distributed microloans to individuals in countries across the world to improve their livelihood and enhance business prospects. Damtew has also been an active member, and is currently serving as vice president, of the Reach for the Sky Foundation, an organization that provides dental supplies such as toothbrushes to underprivileged students within the Denver area. Finally, though certainly not least among his accomplishments, Damtew has been an intern for the Colorado Court of Appeals, learning about the legal system, honing his debate skills, and assisting with various needs of the court. Damtew currently plans to pursue a career in business, economics, or communications.  As stated by Will, “It’s rare to see a student who embodies both humility and confidence in equal measure. Deksyos is true to form in both respects. I’m excited to witness his positive attitude and intellectual prowess change our campus—and community– for the better.”

Abby Mercier

Abby Mercier comes to Colorado College from a family with a strong military connection.  Her father went to the Air Force Academy, and impressed upon her the importance of service before self.  Mercier’s success at having an impact on the community stems from her ability to relate to others – to give her time and attention to help reach others at a personal level, and then provide the help they need.  At Fairview High School in Boulder, much of Mercier’s community work and passion has centered on tutoring, especially Spanish-speaking youth – something she hopes to continue at local schools.  When not tutoring, Mercier spent much of her time playing club and varsity soccer. Last summer, she worked at Spyder Active Sports, where she provided administrative and customer service support. This fall, she plans to begin her focus on a medically-focused education so she can begin a career supporting military veteran health. Carly reflected that “Abby’s passion to not only pursue a career in medicine but to use this knowledge to serve underserved and underrepresented populations is nothing short of admirable. She is talented inside and outside the classroom — she’s a whiz in her science classes but also massively talented on the soccer field. Abby is intelligent, articulate, driven, and cares deeply about giving back to the state of Colorado. We couldn’t be happier to name her a winner of the El Pomar Scholarship, and we are lucky to call her one of our own!”

 

Congratulations to both of these outstanding and deserving students, as well as all of the other remarkable students who applied and interviewed for this award.  We all look forward to see what they do while at Colorado College and beyond!

For more information on the El Pomar Scholarship, click here.

Davis Foundation Annual Report Highlights CC Projects for Peace Winners!

Last summer, Colorado College students, Lucy Marshall and Eva McKinsley, travelled to a region of Central Peru that has been plagued by insurgent violence and instability to promote specialty coffee production and invest the proceeds in local education.

First, Lucy and Eva experimented with alternate methods of coffee production at a coffee farm in Ancahuachanan. Then, they turned their attention to education bringing the Internet to the local school, donating laptops and a projector to two area schools, supplying educational computer programs, games, sports equipment, school supplies, and so much more. Finally, on the farm, Lucy and Eva cleared and roofed a disused area, cleaned and repaired old washing wells for coffee, and installed new equipment. They eventually reached an essential agreement with the farm’s owner to donate a portion of the increased profits from the specialized coffee to continue supporting the schools.

Collaborative for Community Engagement and the whole Colorado College would like to congratulate Lucy and Eva for making such a difference in a disadvantaged community in Peru by promoting education, empowering members of the coffee industry, and promoting community growth and conflict resolution. We are very proud to have students who care about the larger world and put so much energy into creating projects that benefit people around the world! To see the full Davis Foundation annual report, please follow this link http://www.davisprojectsforpeace.org/system/files/media/2017_Davis_Projects_for_Peace%20FINAL.pdf.

Welcome Justice Watch!

Justice Watch (JW) is a new branch of CC Prison Project club that has recently been created and focuses on holding judges and attorneys accountable for fair treatment in courthouses. Justice Watch sends students to the El Paso County Courthouse (located on S. Tejon St.) to observe and report judges’ demeanor. The club’s goal is to make sure that judges are behaving appropriately and are held accountable for bias or mistreatment. JW’s mission statement is “to be the eyes and ears of the community and keep judges accountable for their behavior.” This group offers an opportunity for low time commitment and high impact involvement for students.

One of CCE workers, Julia Bazavluk, recently connected with Key Duckworth, one of the leaders of Justice Watch. We have asked her to share what kinds of activities JW performs, how students can get involved, what the purpose and goals of the group are. Now, in the form of a interview, we are going to share what we have found out.

Julia: Hi Key! Thank you so much for being willing to share information as well as your thoughts and hopes about Justice Watch with us. To start, please tell us what inspired the creation of the JW at CC?

Key: Hi Julia! Thank you for reaching out to me. Starting this group on campus was not my original idea, but an idea pitched to Gail Murphy-Geiss by a former student. Gail has been sending students to the courthouse as part of her FYE for many years. By creating a Justice Watch club, we are hoping that we can get enough data to compile a report for the Chief Justice.

Julia: Is CC JW going to be connected to Justice Watch Inc. (https://www.judicialwatch.org/) ? If yes, in what ways, and how would you plan to cooperate with them?

Key: We are not affiliated with this organization. Justice Watch did, however, start as a now-defunct non-profit in the Springs community (https://www.guidestar.org/profile/72-1586290). We hope to bring Jan Weiland and other community members back into the organization once it is more established.

Julia: This sounds like a good plan, and we hope you will be able to accomplish it! How do you think Justice Watch will impact CC students, culture, and atmosphere on campus?

Key: I think that Justice Watch will make CC students more aware of what truly goes on in the court system. Additionally, if we succeed in gathering enough data to present a report to the Chief Justice, I think the experience will empower students to be more politically active by showing them that they can actually have an impact on judges behavior. (In the past, Justice Watch reports have resulted in 2 judges being removed from juvenile court for inappropriate behavior.)

 

Julia: Wow, we didn’t know that JW has had such a big impact in the past! But what can CC students bring into the club, and how can they get involved?

Key: Students can get involved by contacting any of the group leaders. We will give students a rundown on what to expect at the courthouse, how to fill out a data sheet, and how to act while observing judges. After that, they are free to go to court and observe/record data whenever is convenient for them (preferably at least once a block).

Julia: Also, what events, if any, will the club organize? Do you have specific ideas/dates in mind?

Key: We will try to meet at least once a block during the first week although we don’t have specific dates yet.

Julia: Are there any groups on campus that might be similar to Justice Watch? If yes, would you be able to cooperate with them and what would you do?

Key: I am not aware of any.

Julia: It’s good because it means that you are going to be a very unique organization that can potentially attract a lot of CC students. What will be an approximate schedule of the meetings? How big of a commitment will it be for students who get involved?

Key: We will try to meet as a group once a block. This can be as high or low of a commitment as student choose — they are free to observe as many dockets and judges as they want.

Julia: It is awesome that you provide a lot of freedom for the students do decide their personal level of commitment. But what do you feel will be the biggest issues/problems facing the club?

Key: I think our biggest issue will be student reliability. Because we have people go whenever is most convenient, I worry that some students will forget to or decide that walking twenty minutes is not worth it. I am hoping to start a group message of some sort so that people can arrange carpools or choose times to go in groups as I think this might keep people more accountable.

Julia: Oh, I see. I am sure that there will be students who are interested in the court system and a fair treatment of people there. Finally, where do you envision the club to be in five years?

Key:  In five years, I hope that we will be able to compile enough information to write a report every year. I also hope that we will have community members involved.

Julia: I hope you will achieve this goal, and we wish you best of luck!

Key: Thank you so much!

2018 Community Engagement Winter Fair

This past week, the CCE held our second community engagement fair for the 2017-18 school year.  Like the event in the fall, this event provided CC students with an opportunity to connect with representatives from local non-profits and educational partners of the Collaborative for Community Engagement (CCE) office. The CCE helps students go off campus and engage with the Colorado Springs community in meaningful ways through community service activities such as tutoring, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or raising money for charities. By bringing some of these organizations to our campus, Colorado College gave students a chance to make a difference not just on campus, but on a larger scale in Colorado Springs area.

Below are groups that had tables at the fair.  Students are welcome to reach out to them directly or use the CCE to make a connection. Additional contact details and organization information can be found  on our Summit site at https://apps.ideal-logic.com/cce.

Rocky Mountain Field Institutehttps://rmfi.org – Dedicated to the conservation and stewardship of public lands in the Southern Rocky Mountain region through volunteer-based trail and restoration projects, environmental education, and restoration research. Contact information: Molly Mazel.

Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Centerhttp://pptrc.org – Utilizing the unique and therapeutic attributes of the horse, their mission is to serve those with diverse needs, empower change, foster resilience, and nurture whole health through sustainable and innovative programs. Contact information: Chester DeAngelis.

Friends of the Peakhttp://ww.fotp.com – A group with the goals of providing a unified, pro-active voice for the preservation and restoration of the natural environment of Pikes Peak, promoting and enhancing recreational opportunities and visitor experiences that are in harmony with that environment, and promoting awareness of and education about Pikes Peak. Contact information: Susan Jarvis.

Early Connections Learning Centershttps://www.earlyconnections.org – Focused on providing high quality, comprehensive early care and education for all. Contact information: Ashley Groves.

City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services –https://coloradosprings.gov/department/76 – The mission of City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services is to serve residents and visitors through stewardship of distinctive cultural, natural and recreational resources; provisions of exceptions facilities and programs; and effective leadership and collaboration for the vitality and economic health of our community. Contact information: Brian Kates.

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountainshttps://www.plannedparenthood.org –  The Mission of Planned Parenthood is to provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings which preserve and protect the essential privacy and rights of each individual, to advocate public policies which guarantee these rights and ensure access to such services, to provide educational programs which enhance understanding of individual and societal implications of human sexuality, to promote research and the advancement of technology in reproductive health care and encourage understanding of their inherent bioethical, behavioral, and social implications. Contact information: Nico Wilkinson.

Pikes Peak United Wayhttp://www.ppunitedway.org – An organization committed to improving the quality of life in the Colorado Springs community. Contact information: Deanna Toney.

Pikes Peak Children’s Museum – pikespeakchildrensmuseum.org – Strives to develop and operate a innovative children’s museum serving the Pikes Peak region, envisioning the museum as a dynamic place for discovery and imagination and sparking a passion for lifelong learning. Contact Information: Nohea March.

Goodwill – discovermygoodwill.org – Goodwill strives to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by helping people reach their full potential through education, skills training, and the power of work. Contact information: Grace Vigil.

Ronald McDonald House – rmhcsouthercolorado.org – Keeps families with critically ill children close to each other and provides care and resources they need when they need it most. Contact information: Emily Odiwuor.

Care and Share Food Bank – careandshare.org – Care and Share Food Bank believes that no one should go hungry. Every day, they provide food to our partner agencies across Southern Colorado to serve our neighbors in need because well-fed communities are better for us all. Care and Share exists to ensure that the one in eight Southern Coloradans at risk of hunger have access to enough healthy and nutritious food to thrive. They know that children without adequate access to food cannot develop successfully, families cannot plan for their future, and seniors find it more difficult to remain independent. Contact information: Eric Pizana.

Peace Corps – peacecorps.gov – Peace Corps is a service opportunity for motivated changemakers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation. Contact information: Karyn Sweeney.

Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity – pikespeakhabitat.org – Brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Contact information: Iassa Ring.

CASA – Provides a volunteer’s voice in court for children who are victims of abuse, neglect, or domestic conflict and promotes awareness of these issues to ensure safe and permanent homes. Contact information: Uriko Stout.

Marian House Soup Kitchen – ccharitiescc.org – In response to Jesus Christ’s call to affirm the value and dignity of each human life, to build solidarity within the community, and to advocate for justice for the poor and vulnerable, Catholic Charities of Central Colorado humbly engages in the ministry of charity for those in both economic and spiritual poverty so that all – staff, volunteers, and clients –  may fully achieve their God-given potential. Contact information: Doug Rouse.

Colorado Springs CONO – cscono.org – Dedicated to improving Colorado Springs’ quality of life through neighborhoods. Contact information: Rachel G.

Children’s Literacy Center – childrensliteracycenter.org – Strives to build a life of success through a foundation of literacy. ONE child at a time. Contact information: Pamela Polke.

Kids in Motion http://csdance.org/kids-in-motion/ – 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes dance in the Pikes Peak Region across generations. Their mission is to present a diverse range of world class dance forms, to educate young dancers, and to provide outreach to underserved children and their families. Contact information: marketing@csdance.org

 

A big thank you to everyone involved, and let’s hope next year’s fairs are just as successful!

Content by Julia Bazavluk
Edited by Richard Bishop

Dream Outside the Box

Dream Outside the Box

Beginning this semester, look out for a new student organization – Dream Outside the Box – here at CC. Dream Outside the Box (DOTB) is a non-profit organization in Colorado Springs that works to propel at-risk youth onto a higher education trajectory by mobilizing college students to engage children in imaginative careers and extracurriculars. DOTB work with children in existing youth development organizations to provide:

  1. exposure to new activities and career options to broaden horizons beyond stereotypical career aspirations such as rap or football by inviting college student organizations to share their respective interests, such as chemistry & fencing
  2. long-term development opportunities via weekly lessons, camps, and apprenticeships through partnerships with private organizations
  3. opportunities for our youth to embrace service starting at age 5

Every Dream Outside the Box program is designed for dual impact: to propel youth in dream deserts toward higher education while cultivating leadership skills among collegiate volunteers. By producing imaginative programming in dream deserts, college students broaden the horizons of K-5 youth while developing skills to contribute toward the disruption of cyclical poverty.

CCE staff has recently talked to the initiator of the Dream Outside the Box club at CC, Turner Black. We would like to share in this blog what we have find out about the purpose and aspirations of DOTB at CC in the form of an interview.

Julia (CCE worker): Hi Turner! Thank you so much for cooperating with us and sharing this invaluable information about DOTB club that you have started. To begin, please tell us what inspired you to found DOTB at CC?

Turner: Hi Julia! Thank you for helping me promote this organization at CC. Turner: When I was signing up for clubs and applying to participate, I had trouble getting accepted to most of the programs, as they were all quite full. I also happen to simply love and believe in this program, and therefore I thought it would be a great idea to bring it to CC community. I decided to bring DOTB to CC because I know this community on campus can be a bubble sometimes, and I think it is important to be able to create meaningful connections with members of the community, especially when that can be done by reaching out to our youngest generation.

Julia: I have heard that the very first DOTB organization was founded in Columbia University. I was wondering if CC DOTB is going to be connected in any way to Columbia’s club?

Turner: We are not connected to Columbia’s DOTB group in any direct way. However, we are connected with a group that was founded at Missouri State University by a friend of mine when she was a freshman in college. She is now a successful adult who helps to run these programs all across the country.

Julia: This is awesome! I hope she will be able to help you promote your organization at CC.  How do you think this club will impact CC students, culture, and atmosphere on campus?

Turner: I hope this club will allow even more students to get involved with youth in the community in fun, variable, and creative ways. Because our model requires a different student group or organization to get involved each week (as our “Dream Buddies”), a large number of students are able to be involved just a couple of times, when they are available, and are able to become exposed to volunteering with youth without a huge commitment. Along with that, we really strive to create and maintain a consistent group of volunteers (“Volunteer Buddies”) that are willing to make time every week to come and see their “Dreamers” (students) and to truly create a bond with one or two students so that the students have some consistency and something to look forward to each week that includes the same people.

Julia: And what do you think CC students can bring into the club, and how can they get involved?

Turner: CC students can bring energy, creativity, organizational skills, and management skills- all of those things would be helpful. However, the only true requirement for students to bring is a heart full of love ready to pour out to the kids each week. Getting involved is as easy as texting (817) 889-7303 or signing up for our organization on Summit! We will have an interest meeting in early next semester, and will also be at the winter activities fair. There is also an app called DOTB that anyone can download to sign up to volunteer, get more information, and watch adorable videos of previous students sharing their experiences and newfound dreams.

Julia: It looks like there are a lot of ways for CC students to connect to DOTB! Also, What events, if any, will the club organize? Do you have specific ideas/dates in mind?

Turner: I am not quite sure yet, although I do know we will have a fun interest meeting in the first block of next semester, and will weekly be going to a local school or YMCA (not 100% sure which one yet) to do exciting and meaningful activities with elementary school aged students.

Julia:  Are there any groups on campus that might be similar to Dream Outside the Box? If yes, would you be able to cooperate with them and what would you do?

Turner: Yes, there are other groups on campus that work with students, and I would enjoy collaborating with them, especially if they are working with students in middle or high school. I believe that bringing in students of other ages to talk to the elementary schoolers and answer questions about higher education would be a really cool opportunity, especially because we need to inspire them to stay in school until graduation if we want to inspire them to pursue higher education, whatever that may look like. The only issue I foresee with collaborating with other groups is the transportation of students and volunteers, as our budget is somewhat limited in that respect at the moment.

Julia: Talking about the commitment level this club will require, what will be an approximate schedule of the meetings? How big of a commitment will it be for students who get involved?

Turner: We will meet once a week for the first three weeks of block, and then will likely take one week off for fourth week of each block. Each meeting will be located near campus, and transportation will be available for those without cars. Every session will take about an hour and a half total, as the session with students is officially one hour, but volunteers are expected to show up about half an hour early to go over the day’s activities and prepare the supplies – that way, everyone is on the same page when working with kids individually, and we will be able to have group discussions afterwards, as everyone performed the same tasks. Overall, this will not be a terribly time consuming commitment, and, at least for me, it always seems to be far more fun than stressful, as the students are so sweet and loving.

Julia: So I assume there will be opportunities for CC students to get off campus with the club?

 

Turner: Definitely! We will have weekly sessions at another location off campus, so there will be lots of reasons for students to get off campus.

Julia: What do you feel are the biggest issues/problems facing the club, if any?

Turner: At this point, the main issue I foresee is not being able to recruit enough committed people that will want to come each week, as there are already many clubs on campus. However, I have hope for this club, as I truly believe that once people try it out, they will fall in love with it!

Julia: I hope that many of CC students will be very interested in signing up for DOTB, since even though there are a lot of clubs at CC, there are none similar to DOTB in its purpose. FInally, where do you envision the club to be in five years?

Turner: In five years, I envision the club still in action, with a well-rehearsed curriculum and a stable group of committed students leading it. I hope at this point, we will be able to reach out to our previous students and see how they have come in school, and possibly bring them back into our wing of support and involve them in giving back to their community by doing service through the DOTB programming and mentoring other students to continue pursuing their biggest dreams.

Julia: Thank you so much for such thorough responses! I am very excited to see your passion and see what great things DOTB will do in the future!

Turner: Thank you! DOTB will try its best to live up to our expectations and hopes.

 

Content and interview by Julia Bazavluk