On June 17th we celebrated the special connection and energy brought to Bethany Hill by our volunteers. We know what the support, instruction and connection mean for us as staff and residents, but we’ve also been told that volunteering feels great and becomes a gift in itself. Those connections – authentic and personal- seem to be transformative on both sides of the equation
Marlene Mendez serves as the Bethany Hill School and Regis College Liaison. She presented us that evening with an award from Regis College recognizing the special partnership between Bethany Hill and the Vista program. In Marlene’s own words:
“When I think back to when I decided to commit to a year of National Service in AmeriCorps, I never thought of the many friends and relationships I would make. The Massachusetts Campus Compact AmeriCorps program sounded like the perfect fit for me. This program serves to place VISTAs in a higher education institution such as Regis College and enables the VISTA to capacity build at a specific community partnership, in my case Bethany Hill School. To me, this pair sounded like the perfect fit and I could not imagine why this relationship wasn’t focused on in the past, since both share the values of the Sisters of St Joseph.
I came in with the mentality that this wasn’t a project I would work on for a period of time. The focus I came with to BHS was to create an awareness of college, to have the residents and the kids think of college as a topic of conversation for the near future. I wanted the children of the residents to meet first generation college students from Regis College and relate to them so that they can look up to them and someday go off to college. The Regis College students enjoy volunteering at BHS and making this mission happen every time we go for Homework Help or for Reading Club. I am glad to say I will continue on to my third year serving in this role as the liaison between Regis College and BHS.”
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