VSCS awarded grant for expansion

Grace Christiansen

Last week, the Volunteer Center received news that Lawrence University has been awarded a grant from the Midwest Campus Compact Citizen-Scholar Fellowship Program. The grant came from Campus Compact, a national organization of college and university presidents who work to promote community service and citizenship skills at schools of higher education. Lawrence University is affiliated with this organization.
Kristi Hill, coordinator of internships and volunteer programs at Lawrence, became aware of the opportunity while communicating with other volunteer centers in Wisconsin. Hill and senior Sam Gibb began working on a proposal in November. Gibb, a student intern at the volunteer center, wrote the application for the grant.
The M3C fellow program is meant to be “a scholarship program to support cohorts of predominantly low-income and/or first generation college students who have demonstrated academic abilities while maintaining involvement and a passion for community building.”
The Campus Compact program is meant to encourage civic engagement at colleges and universities, and does so by providing funds for education awards.
Each education award includes $1,000 and 300 hours of community service in an academic year. Next year, the volunteer center will be hiring eight students as M3C fellows. Each fellow will act as a liaison between campus and community agencies.
The agencies chosen will have sites close to campus and will be diverse in both missions and volunteer opportunities. One probable site is Edison Elementary, where one fellow will be a liaison for LARY, the Lawrence mentoring program. The student will be responsible for finding out the needs of Edison Elementary and will report back to potential Lawrence volunteers.
While the Volunteer Center will make an effort to recruit first generation and low-income students, Hill stressed that this opportunity is open to all students at Lawrence. In addition to five previously existing positions, the Volunteer Center will be creating three new jobs as a result of this grant. One of the positions is a “social justice coordinator.”
“For that, we’re looking for someone who’s interested and revved up about social justice,” said Hill. The other two positions will be assistant positions and are exclusively for freshmen.
“This is a great opportunity for the Volunteer Center,” said Hill. “It means that we can get more students involved and hopefully be open more.”
Hill also acknowledged the support of the dean of students and of President Beck, saying that they had both been very supportive throughout the application process.
For students interested in becoming M3C fellows, there is an information session April 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Volunteer Center.