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Campus Corps Connections

A Montana Campus Compact publication

Volume 5, Issue 3 Summer 2009

Recovery Corps is a new Campus Corps
initiative this year, made possible by the
Participating Campuses: stimulus funds granted via The American Re-
•Blackfeet Community College covery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
•Carroll College Though typically Campus Corps members
•Dawson Community College serve during the academic year, this new em-
•Flathead Valley Community College
•Fort Belknap College phasis on summer positions will address the
•Fort Peck Community College concern of many community agencies being
•Little Big Horn College left without the necessary human resources
•Miles Community College during the summer months.
•MSU-Great Falls College of Tech Campus Corps Recovery members are serv-
•MSU-Northern ing some of the most economically-troubled
•Montana Tech counties in Montana, and the nation. Blaine, Glacier, Big Horn and Roosevelt counties are
•Rocky Mountain College
•Salish Kootenai College experiencing poverty rates well over 20 percent, and this Recovery initiative will primarily
•UM-Helena College of Tech target these high-needs areas of our state. Altogether, forty-eight Recovery Corps mem-
•UM-Missoula bers will be placed in 2009 in these, and other high-needs communities throughout Montana.
•UM-Western Members will recruit volunteers for and serve at local not-for-profit organizations dealing
•University of Great Falls
with issues related to the current the economic crisis.

Our Mission: The members kicked off their service at New Member Orientation in Billings on June 1-2,
Montana Campus Corps is an where the were taught the key elements of their service, set service goals, and served the
AmeriCorps program that community of Billings from the Food Bank and Family Services.
engages college students in
meeting community
identified needs through In line with the President Obama’s “United We Serve” initiative, members’ service will ad-
meaningful service. dress problems caused by the economic downturn. The United We Serve campaign encour-
ages greater civic participation from all Americans this summer. There are four key areas to
this campaign including “providing community renewal to the areas hardest hit by the eco-
Inside this Issue: nomic crisis.” In a recent address, the President asked all citizens to make service a part of
AmeriCorps/Volunteer Week...2 their daily lives this summer, and Campus Corps Recovery members are doing just that.
Seussville University….………..3 The President’s Summer of Service initiative officially begins June 22.
Spring Summit…….……...…….4 To learn more, visit
Donate Life Challenge…….…...4
Funding/Loan Forgiveness……..5
Farewell, Team Leaders…....….6 Interested in spending a year of your life leading a
group of college student AmeriCorps members?
We've got a position for you!
Each year, non-student leaders support the efforts of hundreds of Campus Corps members
throughout Montana. Under the supervision of local campus-based program coordinators,
leaders organize weekly team meetings with members, serve as campus-community liaisons,
help coordinate service-learning activities, and offer assistance in developing and implement-
ing service projects on national service days.
Campus Corps is a proud member of the
AmeriCorps family of National Service
Programs in Montana. Think you're up to the challenge? Go to and apply today!
Page 2 Campus Corps Connections, Volume 5, Issue 3

National Volunteer Week and AmeriCorps Week in Montana

MSU-Bozeman UM-Missoula
During National Volunteer Week the MSU-
Bozeman team attended three different After
School Programs. They worked with over 80
elementary students on an Earth Day project.
Each student painted their individual pot, and
then planted a sunflower seed with potting
soil, and watered it for the first time.

The biggest challenge, but also the biggest suc-
cess was making sure the students involved in
the activity were engaged in making their pro-
ject unique. Since the project was completed,
the MSU Campus Corps members have re-
ceived huge thank you banners from the stu-
dents and have been asked to come back and
serve again next year. The presence of the Missoula AmeriCorps members conducted
MSU-Bozeman team during National Volun- recruitment on the University of Montana’s
teer Week really meant a lot to them and campus during AmeriCorps Week, explaining
there was a definite impact made on the stu- AmeriCorps and all of the outlets for serving
dents. in and around Missoula to those passing by.
Many students were delighted to have the op-
portunity to hear first-hand service stories.

FVCC Representatives from Campus Corps, Conser-
vation Corps, Montana Making $ense, and all
three VISTA projects in the state were pre-
AmeriCorps Week at FVCC consisted of a sent at the table each day, each with a differ-
weeklong information table and video station in ent perspective of the meaning of National
our Main Foyer. The Campus Corps Team Service. At the end of the week, over 100 cur-
manned the table and offered refreshments to rent AmeriCorps members and alumni gath-
the students during the week, which was also ered for food, music and fun at Greenough
finals week on our campus. We handed out lots Park for a barbeque and pot luck. Participants
of goodies and applications to interested peo- represented an array of AmeriCorps State
ple. We also created a sign up list of interested Programs: Campus Corps, Montana Making
folks. We put up signs all over campus as well $ense, Literacy Support Corps, and Montana
as crafted table tents for the cafeteria. We Conservation Corps; National AmeriCorps
posted brief position descriptions and did our programs were represented by: AmeriCorps
best to convey the benefits of joining the pro- VISTA and Senior Corps.
Page 3 Campus Corps Connections, Volume 5, Issue 3

Third-graders explore their creative side, learn about music, art and math
By Tracy Lost-Bear, FVCC Campus Corps member

Seussville University was a great success this year
thanks to the group effort of Campus Corps members
at Flathead Valley Community College and many won-
derful students and staff members who volunteered
their talents and time to plan, set up, and entertain
during the event. This year’s celebration, in the spirit
of Dr. Seuss, promoted literacy, math, music, and art
skills to over 250 third-grade students from around
Flathead Valley.

To kick the event off, each school bus that arrived dance, and sign language. The highlight of the day was
filled with excited students was greeted by the smiling when the theatre group put on a special play. FVCC’s
faces, waving hands, and cheers of enthusiastic volun- theatre members presented a short play about the
teers. It was an enriching experience for everyone Star-bellied Sneetches.
who attended. Students participated in activities that
encouraged group participation, creativity, and body The play was an excellent lesson in the importance of
movement— Children and adults alike had the oppor- recognizing and accepting our differences, and doing
tunity to let go of their everyday routines, loosen up away with the ideals of discrimination, prejudice, and
and have as much fun as possible. superiority.

Some of the volunteers dressed as their favorite char- A clear message was presented during the play, “. . .
acters from Dr. Seuss books. They helped guide the until neither the Plain-bellied nor the Star-bellied Sneetches
elementary school children through different learning knew whether this one was that one or that one was this
stations filled with fun activities. The stations included one or which one was what one . . . or what one was who,”
reading, mathematics, music, and art. so, both the audience and the Sneetches learned from
this experience that everyone is capable of getting
along and becoming friends.

To close the celebration, FVCC’s very own Cat-in-the-
Hat, with the help of the Grinch, presented awards to
children who entered an art and poetry contest. Each
winner was announced and then invited on stage so
the Cat-in-the-Hat could give them their special prizes.
The Cat-in-the-Hat encouraged the audience to ap-
plaud each winner’s hard work and accomplishment.
At one point, the Cat-in-the-Hat explained to the au-
dience that the Grinch was really misunderstood and
not such a bad guy. The audience responded with a
In the reading area, children listened to, and were en- round of applause for the Grinch.
couraged to participate in the reading of an original
rendition of a Dr. Seuss book. In the math area, chil- Every student and teacher present also received an
dren worked with tangrams to create different shapes Honorary Degree from Seussville University. Students
such as boats, foxes, and rabbits. In the art area, chil- also received a special treat as the Cat-in-the-Hat
dren decorated clay pots and planted pine trees in signed autographs as they were leaving for the day.
them before taking them home. In the music area,
We tip our hats off to every volunteer who helped make this year one of
theatre members entertained the children with singing, the most, if not the most successful Seussville University in FVCC’s history!
Page 4 Campus Corps Connections, Volume 5, Issue 3

Sharing their stories of service, learning from the
peers and engaging with the Bozeman community are just
a few of the activities Campus Corps members were part
of on April 17th-19th at this year’s Spring Summit. Most
Campus Corps members had not seen one another since
the building Engaged Citizens Conference in September,
when most were new to the program and just getting a
feel for what their year would entail. With almost eight
months of experience behind them, members were able
to connect with one another on a different level.
Many of the individuals who attended Spring Summit were very grateful to take part in the
peer training sessions. Different workshops were offered by current Campus Corps members and
members of the Montana Campus Compact July VISTA class. The workshop topics ranged in content
from Building Organic Partnerships to Promoting Physical Activity in Youth, Event Planning to Com-
munity Resourcing. As with all Campus Corps trainings, members took some time out of training to
serve the Bozeman community. They served at the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, Heart of the Valley
Animal Shelter, and with the Vandalism Task Force.
Along with peer trainings and service, members were recognized for their achievements
throughout their terms of service. Although not everyone can win an award, all of the individuals in-
volved with Campus Corps made substantial contributions to their respective communities through
service. Award recipients are listed below.

• Award for Exceptional Leadership
Liz Dellwo, MSU-Bozeman Team Leader
• Outstanding Service Project
Seussville University, FVCC Campus Corps Team
• Campus Corps Citizenship Award
Lindsay Stocker, Second-year member at MSU-Billings
• Excellence in Service-Learning
Nikole Disney, MSU-Bozeman service-learning member
• Special Recognition
Charles Kennedy, Second-year member at BFCC

Final Numbers for the Donate Life Today 2009 MTCC Challenge
April was Donate Life Today month and Campus Corps members across the state mobilized friends and family to become
organ, eye and tissue donors. The campuses in bold (below) are the winners of this year’s MTCC challenge.

• Carroll College: 10 • Montana State University-Northern: 26
• Dawson Community College: 1 • Montana Tech of UM: 7
• Flathead Valley Community College: 84 • Rocky Mountain College: 119
• Fort Belknap College: 1 • Salish Kootenai College: 2
• Fort Peck Community College: 1 • The University of Montana-Helena COT: 1
• Montana State University-Billings 1 • The University of Montana-Missoula: 74
• Montana State University-Bozeman: 38 • The University of Montana-Western: 1

QUICK FACTS: Of the 372 total participants in the Challenge, 126 (34%) were first-time donors.
Another 201 participants (54%) were already donors who took the opportunity to register their wishes.
Page 5 Campus Corps Connections, Volume 5, Issue 3

NEW FUNDING FOR CAMPUS CORPS The Montana Campus Compact (MTCC) recently received notice that
its 15 year-old Campus Corps program will get a funding boost in 2009,
to the tune of $750,000 in federal funds from the Corporation for Na-
tional and Community Service via two competitive grant awards.

“This is a great honor for our organization—a testament to the great
service students in Montana have done and will continue to do,” said
Dean McGovern, Montana Campus Compact executive director, “this
funding will help more students serve their communities and afford
higher education.”

Once students enroll as Campus Corps members, they serve on com-
munity projects through local organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sis-
ters, Habitat for Humanity, YWCA, Boys & Girls Clubs, local school districts and healthcare facilities.
These engaged students serve in the neediest areas of the state to mentor at-risk youth, assist the elderly,
build community gardens, implement fundraising events, clean up river beds and parks, provide wellness
education, build houses, conduct food, blood, and organ drives, and most importantly help nonprofits to
recruit more volunteers to meet their goals.

Eric Cardella, Campus Corps Program Manager, is encouraged by this opportunity to expand the program.
“Our student members are tackling critical needs in many underserved areas of our state,” Cardella said.
“We will now be able to put more hands on deck over the next three years.”

The new funds—awarded competitively via the Montana Commission on Community Service —will allow
MTCC to support the service efforts of nearly 1,000 college students in the 2009-2010 academic year.

MTCC staff recently attended the National Conference on Volunteerism and Service. Among our take
-aways was information on the College Cost Reduction Act of 2009, and specifically the Public Service
Loan Forgiveness associated with it.

In short, those who pursue “public service” careers will be eligible to have their federal student loan
debt forgiven after ten years of regular payments. For example, if you enter a career in health care,
nonprofit, education, or government service, and if you have federal student loan debt, for which you
make equal monthly payments at or “Income-Based Repayment,” your remaining student loan debt will
be forgiven after a period ten years’ worth of regular payments.

Full-time AmeriCorps members who make income-based payments may count their year of service as
one of the ten years necessary to have public loan debt forgiven. An income-based monthly payment
for a full-time AmeriCorps member works out to $0/month.

(NOTE: The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program applies only to payments made after Oct. 2007).
More information can be found at Click the What are These Programs? link and read on.
Page 6 Campus Corps Connections, Volume 5, Issue 3

What’s next for 08/09 Campus Corps Leaders?
Liz Dellwo, MSU Ruth Moore, FPCC
Liz will be attending Montana State Ruth may continue working with the
University in the fall of 2009, studying Wellness Center in Poplar. She would
in the Public Administration and Po- still be a personal trainer, teaching
litical Science Graduate Program. She various exercise classes and promot-
plans to stay very much involved with ing in the communities to live healthy
America Reads America Counts, for lifestyles. She also still has two active
which she currently serves as a volun- teenage boys at home that help keep
teer tutor. her personal life busy.

Megan Jung, MSU-B Roe Erin, UM-Missoula
Still weighing her options, Megan is Following her Campus Corps term,
either moving back to MN for a job Roe will be serving as an Ameri-
or heading to Washington to establish Corps*VISTA with the YWCA-
residency for grad school, where she GUTS! (Girls Using Their Strengths)
plans to enroll in the Student Affairs program. She is looking forward to
Administration Masters program at another year of fun in Missoula!
Western Washington University

Sue Crowe, MSU-N Heather Corcoran, MT Tech
Sue will be serving with Opportunity Heather plans to continue working on
Link in Havre as an Ameri- her degree in Elementary Ed. through
Corps*VISTA and hopes to establish
University of Montana -Western. She
certification courses for renewable
energy technology at the various col- plans to start substitute teaching in the
leges on the Hi-Line Butte Elementary schools. Her goal is
to live in Kitsap County in WA state.

Janel Evans, MT Tech JJ Bessette, FVCC
Janel will take on the role of Campus JJ plans to return to her home town
Corps leader for Montana Tech again of Missoula to complete her educa-
next year. She also plans to pursue tion, after being away for over 11
her educational goals, though she is years. She will be majoring in Elemen-
still unsure what field of study. She tary Education with the possibility of a
eventually plans to make a move to second degree in social work.
Missoula to be closer to her sister.

Ashley Widtfeldt, MTCC THANK YOU to all of our 08/09 leaders
Ashley will be taking on the role of who have made meaningful service a reality
Campus Corps leader at UM next for hundreds of Montana’s students this
year. She also plans on beginning a
Master’s in Public Administration year! Your leadership and commitment are
while she serves with Campus Corps. what make Campus Corps great!