AmeriCorps Helps Students Help Others
Anyone who volunteers in the community knows that serving others has its own intrinsic benefits that gratify the soul. But now, thanks to a new federal grant, some deserving Miami Dade College students will receive external rewards as well.
Recently, MDC was awarded 87 spots in the Florida Campus Compact AmeriCorps grant program, allowing 87 students to receive scholarships for their community service. The total value of the grant is almost $112,000.
“There are already a lot of MDC students doing something for the community,” said Joshua B. Young, director of the Center for Community Involvement at MDC. “This will be a great opportunity for them to be a part of a prestigious national program.”
MDC AmeriCorps members are also provided with monthly professional development activities infused with concepts of service and civic engagement.
“So, apart from being able to make a difference in their community, their involvement in AmeriCorps will also help them develop leadership skills and effectiveness in service,” Young said. “And hopefully, it will make community service a lifetime commitment.”
Also, 62 of the slots fall into a category for students who will serve as mentors to at-risk sixth- through 12-graders, with the goal of helping their mentees gain skills and knowledge needed for their eventual college enrollment and success. They will serve in this role a minimum of 300 hours in a year.
“Most of the mentees, if they go to college, will likely go to MDC,” he said. “They see that our students are just like them and have had to overcome many of the same things.
“It makes our students great role models for these students who may have never considered college as a viable option,” Young added.
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