GCC volunteers to help students applying to four-year colleges

  • Students leave Greenfield Community College’s main campus in March 2020. Staff File Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 3/9/2021 3:14:46 PM

GREENFIELD — As students look to attend four-year colleges in the fall, Greenfield Community College is seeking volunteers to join its Older Adults Seeking, Inspiring & Serving (OASIS) program who would be willing to read students’ college-admittance essays and provide feedback.

According to Judy Raper, associate dean of student development, students have appreciated past support from seniors who volunteer for the program. OASIS is rooted in a program that, before the pandemic began, allowed older adults to serve at the college’s welcome desk, mentor students, serve in the college’s food pantry, assist with fundraising and more. Though the pandemic has presented OASIS with challenges, especially because GCC has been holding classes remotely, focus has been on remote mentoring, workshops and “mini-classes.”

“Volunteers have been trained as mentors and nearly as many students have signed up to be mentored,” Raper said earlier in the school year.

Volunteers also help students write resumes and cover letters, and engage in mock interviews, either for jobs or college.

“During a time when students are meeting the challenges of navigating remote learning during a global pandemic, we believe this extra layer of relationship will prove critical to their persistence,” GCC Coordinator of Career Services Shannon Doran said.

“Intergenerational relationships are beneficial, and those benefits are reciprocal under any circumstance, but particularly in light of the current state of the world and higher education, they are even more so,” Raper agreed.

If you are interested in volunteering, contact Kate Walker at walkerk@gcc.mass.edu or Andrea Carlin at acarlin@gcc.mass.edu.

Reach Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.


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