SKC launches AmeriCorps scholarship program
By Lailani Upham
PABLO — Salish Kootenai College has launched a scholarship
program through AmeriCorps, a network of national service programs that
engage Americans in intensive service to meet the nation's critical
needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment that
provides financial support for students who engage in service learning.
The Montana Campus Corps, a new AmeriCorps program that is
based at SKC, is designed to promote active citizenship through
community service among college students.
Jenny Wilson, SKC Campus Corps leader this year, is a
Mississippi native who was invited to serve at SKC after visiting the
campus last April for the statewide ASPIRE Conference.
"I am so
honored to have been invited to come here," says Wilson, who is
currently serving her second term as an AmeriCorps leader. "At so many
schools that I have visited, you say the word 'community service' and
students quickly run the other direction. What I notice as I walk
around the SKC campus is that students are already involved in their
local community in so many ways. Ways that they may not even realize,"
The program will provide scholarships for up to 55 SKC students.
are available for students who are willing to commit 300 to 450 hours
of their time and energy to service projects over the course of the
Currently the slots for the 450 hours scholarships
are filled, however there are still 30 positions out of the 50 offered
for the 300 hour service slot at SKC that still remain to be filled.
who complete the 450 hours of community service this school year will
be eligible for a scholarship award at the end of the school year,
along with a modest stipend through the school year. The award will be
available at the end of the 2010-2011 school year, which can be used
for tuition the following year, graduate school, or loan repayments.
According to Wilson, the 450 hour SKC corps members for
2010-2011 are: Rodney Firststrike, a pscychology major whose service
activities will include performing at local schools and serving as a
mentor to middle school and high school students; Jacob Bessette, a
liberal arts major whose service will include launching a recycling
program among faculty and students on campus; Tyrell Smith, whose
service activities will include tutoring and mentoring at the Boys and
Girls Club of Ronan and Ronan Middle School; and Annie McDonald, whose
service activities will also include tutoring and mentoring at local
schools. "When I show up to their classes or their orientation sessions
and start talking about service to the community in terms of the bigger
picture, they're ready to get involved," Wilson raved about the
students in the program.
The Montana Campus Corps program is
sponsored by the Montana Campus Compact, a network of 19 college and
university campuses located throughout Montana that is committed to
renewing the public purposes of higher education.
The SKC AmeriCorps office is located in the Career Center on
campus. Students who are interested in the Montana Campus Corps or
other AmeriCorps programs can check out www.mtcampuscorps.org or
www.americorps.gov for further information about the program, or can
contact Jenny directly at: 406) 275-4745 or email her at: