Community spirit soars at SJVC’s Modesto campus
It has long been SJVC’s practice to engage students in active volunteerism within their communities. Local services clubs, organizations and serviced-minded events bolster support for so many in desperate need of assistance, direction or goods that might help them survive difficult circumstances.
The Modesto SJVC campus takes student volunteer work seriously.
“We are teaching our students the value of service that may or may not even be related to their career choice,” says Anthony Alejandre, SJVC’s Modesto campus president. The benefits are still there for both students and the communities they serve. “Their volunteerism tells potential employers about their connection to the community, their communication skills and empathy for others.”
SJVC opened its Modesto campus in 2004 and offers seven Business, Medical and Technical programs that award both certificates and Associate’s degrees upon successful completion. Programs offered include Business Administration, Medical Office Administration, Medical Assisting, Pharmacy Technology, Criminal Justice: Corrections, Electrical Technology and Industrial Maintenance Technology.
Students from each of these programs are expected to devote some time to serving the needs of the community. They may use their developing skills from current coursework, or they may simply show up with a willing mind, heart and body to join others in the spirit of giving.
Students, along with participating staff and faculty, give time, energy and sometimes blood in support of a worthy cause. “Through our (student) Diversity Committee, the Red Cross Blood Mobile comes to our campus four times a year,” says Alaine Johnson, Academic Dean. Students are aware that a single donation can save three lives.
This year, students were out in force to support the local newspaper’s Kid’s Day that benefits at-risk youth. SJVC has already committed to next year’s effort. “We also donate our time cooking a meal for the homeless every year during the holidays for the Salvation Army,” says Johnson. “Last year, our Industrial Maintenance Technology program collaborated with other programs to help Habitat for Humanity.”
You can count on a strong showing each year from SJVC students and family members for the March of Dimes 5K walk for premature infants. Peace One Day is another annual event for the campus. “Our Diversity Club encourages all students, staff and faculty to come together as one and enjoy a day of peace with fun activities and free food here on campus,” says Johnson.
Student participation in these events shows them how to be part of a team. They learn to interact with the public, take instruction in performance of their duties, and better understand the hardship of others and how they might impact positive change. All these skills will help them in their eventual career responsibilities.
“We want to serve our employers and provide them with well-trained, qualified professionals to help them grow their businesses in our community,” says Alejandre.
As SJVC graduates take their places in the community’s workforce, they are often recognized from past volunteer work and the generosity, compassion and leadership they demonstrated. They have proven that they are the kinds of people business and industry employers want on their teams.
Students come to realize that volunteerism is a sure way to learn more about the world around them and how they can better fit, function and excel in that world.
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