CEP’s biannual meeting will be held in early May in Minneapolis, and I will attend along with two members of our Board of Directors. The pre-conference session will feature CEP’s most recent research paper, Greater Good: Lessons from those who have started major grantmaking organizations.
The following article was written by Korinne, a Pathways to Education graduate from Shawinigan, Quebec. Pathways and JSF are proud to join Korinne in celebrating National Volunteer Week and the countless volunteers who donate their time and expertise to help young people achieve success.
It’s National Volunteer Week in Canada right now, and this annual celebration has inspired me to reflect on the important role volunteers have played in my life.
I will always remember Joanie, a volunteer who truly made a difference in my academic journey.
She was a volunteer tutor at Pathways to Education, and she spent many long hours helping me with my math homework.
I struggled a lot with math in high school, so her support made a big difference. I would often get quite discouraged and had a hard time motivating myself. But Joanie never gave up on me. She was infinitely patient and her contagious energy made it seem like math wasn’t the worst after all.
It was after many long and demanding tutoring sessions that I realized how much Joanie had invested — not just in me, but in many other teenagers — and how important that time was to me.
Joanie helped me realize just how much I could accomplish. And that if I was able to overcome my struggles, everyone else could as well.
So, when I graduated from high school, I became a volunteer to help others, like Joanie helped me. It was a way to say ‘thank you’ to Joanie and to the other volunteers who supported not just me, but my entire community.
I strongly believe that volunteering at organizations like Pathways to Education is incredibly important for community growth. Some young people have trouble finding a caring and supportive framework during high school. It makes a big difference to have access to volunteers in safe environments that help you feel welcomed, supported in your studies and comfortable sharing how you’re doing.
Because of this, I think it’s important for cities to invest more in community involvement and to create additional opportunities for people to take part. I also think we can do a better job of making volunteering accessible and appealing to a younger crowd.
Donating their time can be a really powerful way for young people to enjoy the community they live in, and I encourage communities to invest in more meaningful volunteer opportunities that reflect youth interests, such as sports events, food festivals, and local shows.
The easier it is for young people to see themselves represented in volunteer opportunities, the more likely they’ll be to participate — creating a strong culture of volunteerism from a young age, and benefitting communities for generations to come.
Looking back today, it’s easy for me to see that volunteering has always been a huge part of my life. Whether it took the form of supportive tutors like Joanie or my own volunteering roles, volunteering has made me who I am, and I will always be always be grateful for that.
Read more at SUNY Ulster’s blog at blog.sunyulster.edu
As college students pursuing forms of higher education, question-asking really becomes a learned art. After all, in order to make informed decisions regarding our future as academics, we need to understand the options available to us. So, here are six questions all students looking for their dream transfer school should ask:
What credits will transfer?
This is SO important. Every college is different, as are their requirements for degree completion. This means that while most or all of your courses may transfer at one institution, you might have a lot of catching up to do at another. Make sure you know just how many credits will transfer before you make a final decision.
Is there a different application period?
It can be confusing navigating other college websites, but many dedicate an entire section to transfer students. If they do, this section is where you should find all of the information you’ll need in regards to applying. Since the application process can be different for transfer students as opposed to first-year applicants, you will want to make sure you are applying by the correct deadline.
What opportunities are there for me to get involved?
As mentioned in a previous blog post, campus involvement is such an important part of making the most of your college experience. One of the best things you can do when seeking to transfer is to ask what opportunities for involvement are available to you — especially in your specific field of study! Ask about clubs, internships and other programs the college might offer and take advantage of the results.
What about specific scholarships?
Nobody wants to graduate with a mess of student loans to take care of, but since the average transfer school is more expensive than community college, student loans are a very real possibility. Scholarships are a great way to help eliminate that debt. And oftentimes, institutions offer specific scholarships for their transfer students. These are definitely worth looking into!
What is the rate of student success?
Some schools have a better success rate for transfer students than others. This has to do with the programs they offer, as well as how easy it is for transfer students to acclimate in their new environment. Some colleges focus a lot of time, attention and energy towards their transfers. Others leave their transfer students to wade through the muddle of information all by themselves. Finding a school where you will be valued will greatly improve your personal chance at success.
Can I talk to your students?
Though the previous five questions are mainly designed to be asked of admissions counselors, never forget the students! They are your gateway to developing a thorough and precise list of the pros and cons of your dream transfer school. Students are never shy to give you their honest opinion about classes, professors, activities, inclusion — even the affordability of cafeteria prices. Definitely take advantage of this insider-look!
Ariana Stadtlander is an alumna of SUNY Ulster now pursuing a career as a freelance writer, editor and blogger.