Piedmont Community College (PCC) students, staff, and faculty embraced Week-to-Engage, September 10 – 16, by volunteering at neighboring agencies to make a difference in the Caswell County community. The projects spanned agencies from Yanceyville to Milton, NC.
Week-to-Engage is a week of service for students, faculty, and staff of Averett University, Danville Community College (DCC), and Piedmont Community College to get engaged in their communities. Each fall, the Center for Community Engagement & Career Competitiveness (CCECC) at Averett University collaborates with PCC, DCC, and community partners to organize service projects throughout a full week.
The volunteer time given during Week-to-Engage is captured to show how much of a potential savings occurred throughout the week. PCC volunteered over 100 hours, creating a savings of over $1,600 for Caswell County.
“The Week-to-Engage activities have made a mark on our college campus and the Caswell Community,” commented Edna Brown, PCC Academic Success Center Coordinator, Caswell Campus. “I think of the amount of money that has been saved due to people volunteering their time and efforts and it makes me feel proud to have a part in coordinating the activities. I also reflect on watching the different teams of people collectively “making something happen” to benefit someone else. I saw leadership, teamwork, and Pacer Pride becoming part of all of the activities!”
During this year’s Week-to-Engage, PCC collaborated with the following agencies: Caswell Senior Services (cleaned the walking trail), Caswell County Parks and Recreation (planted flowers and trees), Gunn Memorial Library (cleaned and revamped the Butterfly Garden), Caswell County Historical Society (painted the fence in the backyard), Caswell Campus Maintenance and Custodial Department (painted various areas), Milton’s Historical Society (cleaned The Thomas Day House), and the Milton’s Women’s Club (cleaned meeting location in church).
Kasi Jefferson, a Cosmetology student at PCC, had the opportunity to help at the Thomas Day House during Week-to-Engage. “It felt good to actually help in the community I grew up in. It was nice to learn things about the county that otherwise, I may not have had a chance to learn,” she shared.
“Giving back to the community is a huge part of owning and operating a business. Giving these cosmetology students a chance to get engaged in the community gives them a head start on blending in with their community to impact their areas of business when the time comes. Giving back is important,” stressed PCC Cosmetology Instructor Robin McLean.
As a new project this year, PCC’s correction education carpentry class, led by instructor Ed Morrah, prepared benches for the patio outside of the College’s Building K canteen area as part of a campus beautification project.
Reaching outside of Caswell County, students also donated water for hurricane victims in Texas. For this project, students collaborated with PCC alumnus and current Averett University student Jeanean Bustamante, as well as God’s Pit Crew of Danville, VA to assist with delivering the supplies. “I am thankful that PCC coordinated an event to meet the needs of the storm victims. As Texas struggles to gain some sort of normality, I feel that we truly made a difference to them to help them in their circumstance,” said Bustamante.
Davis Garland, a student in PCC’s Business Administration program, as well as Ju’niqueekra Torain, a Cosmetology student, both indicated that the opportunity taught them more about the community. Torain, who volunteered for the Milton Women’s Club said, “I thought the architecture in the historical building was unique, I enjoyed giving back to the community. Now, I also know what goes on in that building.”
“I like giving back in my community, I worked on as many projects that I could in between my classes. When I walk around the city, I feel like I am truly a part of things. I met community leaders and I feel like they recognize me when they see me now,” shared Garland.
People looking for an opportunity to volunteer can log onto the Engage site using the weblink http://engage.averett.edu to sign up and volunteer. Students can use the website anytime throughout the year. The website also tracks community service hours for students, they can print off the information to use on college scholarship applications, and job applications.
“Week-to-Engage provides an awesome opportunity for student, faculty, and staff to come together and complete various projects on and off campus. These projects build camaraderie as we pulled together to commit to the needs of the campus and the community,” remarked Sarah Humphrey, Interim Dean, PCC Caswell Campus.
Photos: Week-to-Engage activities. More photos on the PCC Facebook page at www.facebook.com/piedmontcc!