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Kirkwood students value community involvement

By Paige Gerjets, Libby Slaton, Joesph Wlosinski
On March 2, 2016

Cedar Rapids and the surrounding Eastern Iowa area thrive with local commerce, highly rated education and an ever-growing sense of culture through events and entertainment. However, there is a network of volunteers and organizations that work to make the community a better place to reside.

At Kirkwood Community College, there are a multitude of ways students can give back and get involved in the community. 

Student Life and Student Leadership Council (SLC) work hand-in-hand to spearhead nearly 220 events a year that range from entertainment to charity events. 

Associate Director of Student Life and SLC Advisor Seth VanderTuig said he is always preparing for the next thing. Events include blood drives throughout the year, food drives every fall and regular ‘adopt a highway’ cleanups. 

According to VanderTuig, one of the challenges facing Student Life and SLC is,  “Do we do one huge community service project a year? Or do we do a variety of smaller ones?” 

VanderTuig said, “Each project affects the community in a different way… I don’t know if there is any ‘go to’ or best community service tie-in that we do. I think they’re all important for different reasons.” 

He explained that there are a variety of reasons students benefit from helping their community. “Whether they’re looking for a potential career, something to put on their resume [or] to meet new friends, whatever their reason may be, I think that the opportunity to open doors to their future would certainly be their biggest benefit.” he said.  

Mattie Jacobsen, a member of SLC and Student Ambassadors, said she has worked on community service projects through high school and beyond with abundant enthusiasm. 

Jacobsen said there are personal benefits to volunteering. “The self satisfaction and seeing people happy and grateful is definitely way worth my time and energy. It’s so nice to see,” she said. 

Jacobsen said she has been involved in Angel Tags, the toilet paper drive for Camp Courageous, food drives and adopt a highway cleanups.  

To learn more about volunteering opportunities at Kirkwood, VanderTuig said students can stop by Student Life in Iowa Hall.

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