300 Students Give Back $16,000 to the Community

Academic Service Learning Make a Difference Weekend

The Academic Service Learning Center hosted a Make a Difference Weekend by facilitating a Disabilities Awareness Day on Friday October 23rd followed by a direct service experience on Saturday October 24th at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding. Results have been tallied and confirmed that nearly 300 participates took part in the two-day service event investing over $16,000 back into the community. Center staff would like to thank all of the GRCC community who took part in the event: Dan Anderson, Bertha Chivis, Marne Johnson, Patti Trepkowski, Whitney Johnson, Kate Byerwalter, Karen Walker, and all our students.

Friday attendees experienced multiple disability simulation exercises including: autism, dyslexia, ADHD, hearing loss, visual impairment, and adaptive equipment. A big thank you goes out to the multiple experts on-hand including Ms. Wheelchair Michigan 2009 Amber Marcy, GRCC Occupational Therapy, Paws with a Cause, Sandy Faulkner (signing all day), Cindy Hall, Claudia (DHHS), Dr. Harold Hollander, Sharon Hickox The Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Marne Johnson’s COMM 135 classes, and the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding.

On Saturday, students loaded buses donated by Dean Transportation and traveled to Rockford to the Equest Center. While there, students cleared trails, entered data, trained to be leaders and sidewalkers, did general odd jobs and painted an entire house! We also got to enjoy a great reflection over pizza during lunch time.

Kathy, Executive Director at the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding shared, “Thanks so much to all of you and your students for their time and amazing work to accomplish SO MUCH over the course of a few hours! The rain did nothing to dampen their efforts!”
Patti Trepkowski shared insight from her CLS class, “This was a great day. We had a good reflection in class today from those students who participated – they really felt they had made a difference and although there was some misery involved because of the weather, they spoke with pride about what they accomplished, support for the Equest mission, and appreciation for the new people they met and how much they liked working together.”

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