For the first time, when freshmen resident students move onto the Northern Maine Community College campus they will be bonding through a number of group activities, and as importantly, connecting with the community through volunteer service projects.
Freshmen living on campus will be arriving for orientation on Friday, August 26th, two days before senior resident students. This will give them a chance to get acclimated to their new surroundings, and meet their classmates in a more relaxed setting. Then on Saturday, August 27th the freshmen will “hit the ground running” to a number of community-partner locations to help with volunteer projects.
“Research shows that the more connected students are with their school and the community, the more likely they are to persist to graduation,” says Jon Blanchard, Director of Residential Life. “We are fortunate to have so many agencies willing to work with our students and we hope our work will benefit them.”
“Volunteerism is an underlying message to our students here–taking responsibility for improving the area they call home,” says Bill Egeler, Dean of Students. “We promote service to society and our volunteer efforts are a way of thanking our neighbors for being so supportive of the College.”
Among the volunteer sites are: the Environmental Protection Agency where students will clean an outside picnic area; the Central Aroostook Humane Society where volunteers will feed and walk the animals; the Catholic Charities, Maine farm in Caribou for weeding and harvesting; Martha and Mary’s Soup Kitchen where cleanup and landscaping projects will be undertaken; and a group of students will join volunteers from the Aroostook Band of Micmacs helping with the Kiwanis Kid’s Fund Day at the Forum.
The work begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at noon. But it’s not all work and no play for these 55 freshmen residents. Beginning at 1:30 p.m., Daren Stone, former NFL player and current employee at NMCC’s Smith Wellness Center, will lead an obstacle course competition, and in the evening students will enjoy a marshmallow roast and s’mores in a nearby picnic area.
Seniors will have their move-in day on Sunday, the 28, the day before classes begin.