The newest members of the College of St. Joseph community learned what it means to be a provider during the College’s day of service on Saturday.
Students piled into several CSJ buses and vans early in the morning to be dropped off at eight locations across the city to perform the first four of their 15 required hours of community service through the Provider Scholarship Program.
“64 new students, four residence directors, eight residence advisors, and one staff member completed 253 hours of service on Saturday,” said CSJ’s Vice President of Student Affairs Melissa Paradee.
Four students joined Downtown Rutland Partnership Executive Director Steve Peters to clean up downtown, including weeding around more than 25 parking meters and lamp posts on West Street, Center Street, and Merchants Row.
A large group of students put on hard hats to help with a Habitat for Humanity build on Cleveland Avenue.
Another group went to Jen’s Motel, a transitional housing facility, to help spruce up the building, including painting the foundation and lawn maintenance.
“All I can say is wow. I didn’t have enough work ready for them. I had some plan B stuff, but we ended up doing all of that, too,” said Patrick Higgins, who oversees the BROC program. “These kids are not afraid of work. I’m impressed and grateful beyond words.”
And it didn’t stop there.
Students got their hands dirty clearing a new trail at Pine Hill Park and sprucing up West Street Cemetery, while others helped prepare for the community lunch at Trinity Church and to clean and organize play areas at Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum.
The community connections were formed after Paradee asked Project VISION’s former executive director Scott Tucker to send an email requesting community engagement partners. 10 organizations and individuals responded to the College’s request.
New students typically complete one hour of service at one location during orientation as an introduction to the Provider Program, but Vice-President of Student Affairs Melissa Paradee wanted to give students a greater taste of the Program and the impact they can have on the greater Rutland community during their four years as a student at CSJ.
Provider Scholars will continue working toward their 15 hours of service every Wednesday throughout the semester at organizations across Rutland County.
About the Provider Scholarship Program
College of St. Joseph’s Provider Scholarship Program addresses college accessibility and affordability by offering full-time, residential students $65,500 in financial aid over four years in exchange for a commitment to academic curiosity, participation in campus life and career preparedness programs, and 15 hours of community service each semester. Since the Program’s inception in fall 2013, Provider Scholars have completed more than 16,000 hours of service to the greater Rutland region.