Students learn about volunteer opportunities at community service fair

Sumra Hayden


The W held its community service fair on Sept. 14 in the W Room to encourage students to volunteer and make a difference in their local community. 

Local agencies such as the Greater Columbus Learning Center had informative booths set up for those interested to stop by and learn more about potential volunteer opportunities. 

Shobal Johnson, ABE and GED instructor at Greater Columbus Learning Center, said their goal was to help students prepare for testing, including ACT and GED prep.  

Rita Hargrove, also an ABE and GED instructor at Greater Columbus Learning Center, believed that many students at the center need guidance.  Not only are they focusing on improving test scores, but they work effortlessly to motivate young students. 

Community service fairs not only provide W students the opportunity to make a difference, but they also allow students, faculty and staff the opportunity to maintain a working relationship with the surrounding local agencies.

Kimone Simmons, coordinator of Student Engagement, explained the purpose of community service fairs.

"We strive to maintain a strong relationship with the Columbus community and our student body, and so by involving our community agencies here on campus, it allows our students to learn more about the agencies in Columbus, as well as provide more opportunities for them to then volunteer in Columbus and enhance their community here," said Simmons.

One of the ways the office of Student Life accomplishes this is by sending out e-mail announcements for service opportunities with their local partners.   

“During the Blues Week, we sent students to the Palmer Home for Children house, and they did some work in their greenhouse," said Simmons.

The office of Community Service also sent students to the Salvation Army to help sort items for sale as well as to Operation Ukraine to help clean, organize and prepare items to be shipped.

Volunteers can walk away knowing that a positive change has been made in their community.

"Simply becoming more knowledgeable about what is going on and how they can contribute and enhance a space is really important," said Simmons.

Simmons said she hopes participants will have a better understanding of the agencies and community efforts in their local area, and she believes it is really important that students begin to give back to the communities in which they live.