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Ivy Tech gets grant money to help student volunteers pay for college

By Mike Leonard
331-4368 |
July 25, 2010

Five Ivy Tech Community College students will earn $1,100 grants this year for volunteer work in the Bloomington area.

The students will work an average of nine hours a week during the school year at the Boys and Girls Club of Ellettsville, the Area 10 Agency on Aging and one other yet-to-be-selected nonprofit agency, according to Chelsea Rood-Emmick, director of civic engagement at the Ivy Tech Bloomington campus.

The grant money is coming to Ivy Tech through the Indiana Campus Compact, a network of 45 college campuses in the state, and the federal AmeriCorps program. The $1,100 amount will almost equal a semester of tuition for a full-time class load at Ivy Tech.

Some students who receive the grants might already be planning to volunteer at local nonprofit agencies anyway, Rood-Emmick said.

Ivy Tech places a strong emphasis on community service, and last year, nearly 800 Ivy Tech students, faculty and staff filled out volunteer survey forms indicating their desire to perform community service.

“We had almost 1,600 reported volunteer hours to 80 organizations and agencies,” she said. “But, of course, we don’t know that all 790 people did in fact volunteer or that everyone who performed volunteer service reported back to us.”

Rood-Emmick said students seeking the new volunteer grant money will go through a “fairly rigorous” application and interview process in which they identify the population they’d like to work with (children, the elderly, hunger issues) and what special skills they can contribute. They’ll also need to provide their transcripts, resumes and references.

“We’ll also ask the agencies involved to sit in on the interviews so they can have a say in who they’ll be working with over the coming year,” she said.

“This is the first time we’ve gotten this kind of money, and it’s a nice way to reward some students for their efforts,” Rood-Emmick said. “It also enables them to get the title of AmeriCorps student, which is nice to put on a resume,” she said.

Chelsea Rood-Emmick, director of civic engagement at the Ivy Tech Bloomington campus