Opportunity for volunteers

New program expands, now has options for students in Portage, Watertown


Josh Zytkiewicz

Members of the Madison College Volunteer Center promote the new Service Learning Academy during WolfPack Welcome

Stephanie Riedel, News Editor

Students looking to volunteer this year can find opportunities with the Service Learning Academy at Madison College’s Truax, Portage and and Watertown campuses.

Part of the Volunteer Center, the Service Learning Academy was founded by Gloria Stendel and Luke Andersen in the Spring semester of 2016. The two were inspired to start the academy after attending a Points of Light Leadership conference in Texas.

“Myself and Luke attended a seminar together on recruitment and engaging people/students and they encouraged and empowered us to make a difference at our schools when we returned from the conference,” says Gloria Stendel in an email interview.

“There was so much energy and people where so motivated and empowered at the Points of Light Leadership Conference that it was the best experience of my life and it changed me as a person and made me realize that I have such an impact on people and I can help them change their lives for the better.”

Volunteer opportunities for Madison include Community Action Coalition, East Madison Community Center, River Food Pantry and Second Harvest Food Bank. Portage students can volunteer with Kindred Kids and Watertown students with Bethesda Thrift Shop.

Students meet for three hours a week for ten weeks per semester. Duties vary based on where the student volunteers as do volunteer schedules. Volunteer Orientation is Sept. 11-17 and the academy itself starts on Sept. 18. Anyone concerned about being able to complete the number of hours required for each week, will have an extra week in December to make up that time up followed by a celebration.

The Service Learning Academy encourages students to join so as to meet and network with other students as well as community leaders as well as gaining valuable experience from helping residents in need. For Sendel, it goes a bit deeper.

“My hope is that once I help them change their lives, then they can pass it on and change someones’s life…and it is a continuing circle and the world will be a better place to live in.”

Anyone interested should contact Service Leader Gloria Stendel at [email protected], or Program Administer Clair Weissenfluh at [email protected].