Saturday, May 3 – Kidz b Kidz Colby hosted our second art party in the Colby Museum of Art! The event was very successful as our volunteers sat beside kids of professors and kids from the local Waterville elementary schools to make art for a wonderful cause. We had so much fun explaining to the kids how their art was helping other kids and their excitement was certainly infectious as none of us could stop smiling! Please feel free to check out all our pictures from the event on our Facebook page, four of which are included below.
We’ve had an awesome semester so far – replete with bingo, cozy Dana dinners and Easter egg hunts. This semester we have been particularly impressed with the dedication of our wonderful volunteers who have had record attendance to our events. For me, the highlight of the semester was our bowling event in March. Everyone caravanned down to Sparetime Recreation Bowling in Waterville where everyone got a chance to show off their bowling skills. We’ve got some professional bowlers in our group – some lanes didn’t even use the bumpers. We also participated in Colby Cares Day with an Easter egg hunt to celebrate the upcoming holiday! In addition to our special events, we also all gathered together to eat dinner at Dana in between each off campus event. However, the best is yet to come. On April 30th we will be driving down to Portland to watch the Portland Sea Dogs, the Maine minor league baseball team. This event is always my favorite one of the semester and my expectations are high!
This semester of ESP has been fun and busy, as usual. Every Friday, a few Colby students head to the Unitarian Universalist Church in Waterville and make heaps of sandwiches and lots of soup, and enjoy the occasional cup of tea. A few weeks ago, a group of students from Thomas College joined us at ESP, so we got to meet a wonderful group of similarly-minded, community-oriented people and learn about their studies and their passion to volunteer.
Going to ESP always provides us with a great chance to catch up with one another, talk about and relax from the stress of our weeks, and have great conversations with both friends and strangers. Carrick had a really interesting conversation last week with a woman who came in; she had previously worked at Colby and told us her story. Such chance encounters help us all keep life in perspective and realize how connected we all are. They teach us to be grateful for our opportunities, and they remind us of the very reason so many of us love to volunteer: to connect with our community. So often—and so easily—we forget that Colby is not itself an isolated community, but part of the Waterville community (I mean, come on people, it’s not that big of a hill!). I love volunteering because it brings me closer to the community so that I feel a part of it more than I do at Colby. Volunteering lets me expand my horizons and meet tons of incredible people I would not have met otherwise.
Hardy Girls had it’s 16th Annual Girls Unlimited! Conference. There were over 200 girls in grades 4-8 from local area schools. Girls participated in workshops that focused on empowerment and activism. They also participated in “Action Spots” or small activities that helped them to understand what it means to take a stand about injustice. There were presentations and discussions about various topics from what a Manic Pixie Dream Girl is to how the media portrays high school girls. The event was a huge success that left a profound impact and desire for social activism!
We would like to thank all of you who participated in our Colby Cares Week events. For Colby Cares Day, we had around 200 volunteers at over 20 sites in the greater Waterville area. Below are a couple of pictures from the event. Also included is a link to an article in the Morning Sentinel about the event.
Click HERE to check out the Morning Sentinel article!
Check out ASB Guatemala’s blog!
This spring the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter is off to another fantastic semester! Volunteers logged an impressive 222 hours this February, including extra hours of childcare. The expansion of childcare volunteering has been especially important early in the semester with volunteers stepping up to take care of last-minute requests for help. A few extra sets of hands can be crucial with multiple families and many parents seeking and securing jobs. Helping out never seemed so fun when it means hanging out with awesome kids like these! To top it off, a group of Colby students has even started a cooking class on Thursdays. With more crafts projects and activities in the works, all we know is the cold can’t keep us down! We are so glad to have such amazing volunteers and shelter staff and are looking forward to a great year!
The Barrels Program is up and running again as all volunteers have begun their shifts for the spring semester. We have some new volunteers who are excited to start helping, and many returning volunteers who have gotten back into the swing of things. Some volunteers are cooking delicious cookies, while others are helping to keep the store looking as cozy and welcoming as it always is. Come on down, support a local business, and say hi to some great dedicated volunteers!
On Saturday, over 60 students took the plunge at the Alfond Youth Center’s annual Polar Bear Dip. Colby was the largest contributed to the Alfond Youth Center, donating over $1000 to the AYC’s hot meals lunch program. Thank you to all those who participated!
Check out this video of the Football Team from the Polar Bear Dip this Saturday.
Spending a morning with a group of wide-eyed high school students may not be on every college student’s bucket list, but I couldn’t think of a better way to start my day.
Last Wednesday I led a tour of Colby for a group of 15 high school juniors from Mt. Abrams High School, a small school in Western Maine. The students had traveled over an hour to get to Waterville, but despite the early morning, frost-heave heavy bus ride, the group was wide awake and eager to walk around in the chilly Maine morning.
From asking critical questions about the quality of the dining hall food and the variety of dorming options to more involved questions about Colby’s academic programs and study abroad opportunities, the students on my tour were obviously eager to figure out their futures. Leading this group of respectful and hilarious students around Colby’s beautiful—though frigid—campus reminded me why I decided to pursue a degree in education.
As a tour guide for Maine Aspirations, my goal is inform Maine middle and high school students about the benefits of pursuing higher education and the opportunities that a college degree can provide. As a native Mainer, I know how easy it is for students to simply give up on education after high school, opting to stay in their home towns rather than try new things simply because they are unaware of the opportunities that lie beyond town, county, and even state lines. Watching the eyes of the students on my tour light up at the thought of spending a semester in London or studying in Belize for Jan Plan made me realize that, as a tour guide and a future teacher, sometimes planting the smallest seeds of desire in young students minds is enough to help them change their futures.
-Written by Morgan Rublee ’14