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Lieutenant Governor, Dr. Bounds announce new Volunteer Center at Chesapeake College

Posted on Friday, July 20, 2007

Bottom picture, left to right, Lt. Gov. Brown with students
Edison Bowens, Heather Sterling, Kurt Musser, and Shirley Lake. 

WYE MILLS, MD–Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown joined Chesapeake College President Stuart Bounds Tuesday in announcing Chesapeake College’s new Volunteer Center in a ceremony at the Caroline College Center.

"Volunteerism is at the core of our American values and is a very important part of the future of our State," said Lt. Governor Brown. "We are very pleased to help support this program that brings together regional, State and Federal partners."

"The Volunteer Center project reinforces Chesapeake College’s commitment to the educational, social and cultural enrichment of our five-county region," said President Bounds. "We’re pleased to take the lead in a project that holds great promise for improving the lives of our region’s residents while at the same time providing volunteer activities for citizens anxious to become more engaged in their community."

The Volunteer Center will open in September 2007 and will serve as a clearinghouse for nonprofits and volunteers serving Chesapeake College’s five counties. The college is supplying office space and supplies, the State has invested $5,000, and staffing is provided through the federal VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) program. Established in 1965, VISTA currently has 4,000 volunteers serving communities throughout the United States.

"Chesapeake College has gone a long way toward helping our families achieve their dreams," said Lt. Governor Brown. "Not only are you more affordable than our four-year institutions, but you are able to far more quickly address workforce needs – creating new programs as demand for them increases."

Dr. Kathryn Barbour, Chesapeake’s vice president for academic services, called the center’s creation "a truly collaborative effort" involving local citizens, the state and federal governments, and a national foundation.

"To date, we’ve received a $5,000 grant from the Governor’s Office on Volunteerism, we have been selected to participate in the Points of Light Foundation’s Start-up Academy, and we have been granted a VISTA member to help in the efforts of the center," said Dr. Barbour, who announced that VISTA member Marcie Greer will begin coordinating the Volunteer Center next week.

Dr. Barbour said Chesapeake College was eager to get involved once college officials were convinced of the need for a center.

"A call went out to organizations in the five-county area to attend an organizational meeting last November and over 30 agencies responded," said Dr. Barbour, who said the center also features a 10-member advisory committee with two members from each of the college’s five support counties.

Lt. Governor Brown also met with a student delegation headed by Student Government Association President Heather Sterling that included Kurt Musser, Shirley Lake, Hope Bandura, and Edison Bowens. Sterling, Musser, Lake and Bandura are all PTK International Honor Society members and Leadership Academy graduates, while Bowens is a former Icelandic Seafood worker retraining through the Workforce Investment Board.

"When everyone else said ’no,’ Chesapeake said ’yes,’ " said Lake, a 16-year factory worker who is also retraining through the WIB.

"Chesapeake has just been a great experience for me," added Musser, a nursing major who served as the lone student representative on the Maryland Higher Education Commission during the 2006-2007 academic year.

Lt. Governor Brown said the students’ inspiring stories were just a few examples of what makes community colleges great.

"Community colleges are at the hub of job creation," said Lt. Governor Brown. "They help students achieve their dreams and improve our communities."


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