College of St. Joseph’s Provider Scholars have a lot to celebrate as they close out another semester of service to the Rutland community.
CSJ recently announced that its Provider Scholars completed more than 2,200 hours of service in Rutland County during the fall 2017 semester, and a total of more than 20,000 since the program began in 2013.
“After my first semester as the Community Engagement Coordinator here at CSJ, I couldn’t be more thrilled about the work our students have accomplished within the Rutland area. I listen to their stories and witness their excitement after volunteering, and it is a heartwarming reminder of CSJ’s greater footprint in our home city. I look forward to building even more partnerships in the Rutland area in the near future,” said Kim Rupe, CSJ’s community engagement coordinator.
Representatives from nonprofit organizations from around Rutland County recently went to campus to talk about the impact that CSJ and its students have had on them. Steve Peters and Nikki Hindman of Downtown Rutland Partnership spoke about their organization and the impact that Provider Scholarship students have had.
Peters offered great praise for the work CSJ students have done for Downtown Rutland in partnership with his initiatives.
“We have been fortunate to have so many of your students helping us,” Peters said. “Having volunteers is really important, and we appreciate partnering with you.”
Peters said CSJ students worked with him on streetscapes in the downtown and also appeared in a commercial for Downtown Rutland.
Another high point of the semester for CSJ students was their participation in the Share the Warmth clothing drive. College of St. Joseph’s Provider Scholarship Program and the Downtown Rutland Partnership donated 436 pieces of cold-weather gear to NewStory Center in honor of Giving Tuesday. This included 188 coats, 103 hats, 87 mittens, 27 boots, 27 scarves, and more.
Other highlights include volunteering for Casella Construction’s Wheels for Warmth initiative, harvesting corn for RAFFL, and participating in the WonderFeet Kids’ Museum’ Wonder Paws Festival and Paw Parade. CSJ students also volunteered more than 150 hours for Habitat for Humanity, which was the most time given to a single organization.
Kelly Giancola, executive director of the Community Cupboard, presented students with certificates in appreciation of their work for her organization. She said she counts on the help from CSJ students every Wednesday.
“Without community partnerships like this one, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Giancola said.
Neighborworks of Western Vermont also recognized CSJ students’ efforts.
In a statement, Shannon Kennelly, community relations director, said students helped to clean up a well-utilized but neglected pedestrian pathway to make it more accessible, visible, safe, and beautiful, and they were able to help make a unhealthy house into a healthy home for an individual suffering from asthma who lacked the means to improve their living space on their own.
“NeighborWorks of Western Vermont has benefited enormously from CSJ’s Provider Scholarship Program and, in turn, so have many residents of Rutland County. The Provider Scholarship Program and the students it supports enables us to achieve much more than we could otherwise do,” Kennelly said.
Tamara Robitille was recognized for completing the most hours of service this semester – 65, more than four times the required number.
Kim Rupe, CSJ Community Engagement Coordinator, speaks at the Provider Scholarship cerebration.