|Name: Kathleen Rendos
Host Site: Salve Regina University
Where’d you go to school? Edinboro University of Pennsylvania:
B.A. of Communication Studies
M.A. of Communication Studies, Conflict Management Certification
What do you want to do when you grow up? To work in Higher Education
If you could have any super power, what would it be? To cure Cancer!
My Story of Service
The fall semester at Salve Regina University had many new events. The first annual “Exploratory Day of Service” took place where Salve freshman students were able to volunteer on Aquidneck Island for a few hours. Then the Office of Community Service held its “Taste of Service” Community Outreach Fair, in which community partners came to Salve, set up their table in Ochre Court, and told students about what they do volunteer wise.
Most recently, over Columbus Day Weekend, our annual Service Plunge event took place. This program involved 27 Salve freshman student participants and only 6 returning facilitators. The Service Plunge provides a select group of first-year students with the opportunity to create lasting bonds throughout their college career by participating in service projects, team-building experiences and leadership development activities.
A yearlong commitment, the Service Plunge begins with a month-long “Get to Know Newport” experience, which includes one service or social activity each few weeks. Then during Columbus Day weekend, students retreat to a local campground, where different team building activities take place, and volunteer activities on the Island.
My duty in this program was to facilitate the transportation, food budgets, booking of Girl Scout Camp and weekly meetings between the facilitators. I was the liaison between the facilitators and the Service Plunge participants during the weekend. This weekend was very unique and each facilitator picked the volunteer site of their choice. Participants volunteered at Trinity Church pumpkin patch on Friday night, to unload all the pumpkins off the trucks for setup. Each student worked till all the pumpkins were arranged in a way that customers would be able to pick out the pumpkins the next day. Saturday, participants volunteered at Fort Adams to help re-stain and paint their benches. Fort Adams provided all the necessary equipment for this to take place. After volunteer work was finished at Fort Adams, students were able to catch a bus to Providence to volunteer at the Water Fires event. Here students dressed in black to help blend in with the natural elements of the program. It was also a special Breast Cancer program in which torches were carried all around the water.
The following day Service Plunge participants volunteered at Water Stop mile 9 apart of the Newport Marathon course. This was a very special volunteer site to me since it was my first half marathon and I got to see my students, as I ran by mile marker #9. After the Marathon, students volunteers at the local Salvation Army and McKinney Shelter to serve food to the community. While working the community meals, students were able to personally see how some people survive and what they go through. Monday, Service Plunge participants volunteered at Mumford Manor a local senior citizen home. Here students helped work in the gardens, pull weeds out, and rake the yard.
Service Plunge 2013 ended in a successful weekend. Salve Regina University students were able to learn more about Aquidneck Island and just how they can help out others by volunteering!