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Program demonstrates power of volunteering to students

Mohawk students have the desire and the ability to help out in the community and the college is focused on helping them do just that. The Campus to Community initiative has resulted in more than 400 student volunteers contributing to local non-profits and charities since the program began in September 2016.

The students benefit from strategic volunteering that has been vetted and facilitated by the college, says Program Liaison Claire Webber. It gives them valuable experience on their resumes and credit on their Co-Curricular Records (CCR), which highlights all aspects of a college experience that don‘t appear on a transcript. It also allows for networking and a foot in the door for their careers.

“The overall goal is to create meaningful connections between Mohawk students and the Hamilton community through direct volunteering outreach,“ said Webber. “Volunteering can be daunting for students but this makes it easier.“

Ravi Patel, an international student from India studying mechanical engineering, says Campus to Community makes him feel connected to his college and his adopted home. He volunteers at Ronald McDonald House where he hosts a weekly games night. “It‘s a really wonderful experience. I love spending time with kids. They have so much fun and it makes families happy.“

He‘s also volunteered for a food drive and a landscaping improvement project at the Eva Rothwell Centre. Though he first volunteered to get credit on his CCR, Patel says he now does it because of the personal satisfaction it brings.

The program is part of Mohawk‘s strategic plan for student success and engagement and supported by Glen and Heather Steeves. It began as a pilot with three non-profit partners and has now grown to 12. The aim is to expand the roster of volunteer organizations each year to 24 by 2021.

Mohawk will seek its next group of community partners beginning in spring 2019. Visit mohawkcollege.ca/campustocommunity.

Campus to Community partners

• Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Central Ontario

• Eva Rothwell Centre

• Habitat for Humanity Hamilton

• Neighbour to Neighbour Centre

• Wesley Urban Ministries

• Stewards of Cootes Watershed

• Mission Services of Hamilton

• Special Olympics Hamilton

• Boys and Girls Clubs of Hamilton

• Native Women’s Centre

• St. Peter’s Residence at Chedoke

• North Hamilton Community Health Centre