New Hampshire enjoys a strong tradition of volunteerism according to Volunteer
NH!, and Plymouth State University is an excellent example of volunteerism
in action. Did you know that PSU students gave almost 13,000 hours
of their time during the 2003-2004 academic year to support the needs of the
Those volunteer hours have value. A $227,448 value to be exact. (Based on the 2004 dollar value of a volunteer hour as reported by http://independentsector.org/ ).
Every year PSU students collect and distribute hundreds of Christmas gifts
for community children with the Angel Tree Project. They tutor
and mentor children at Plymouth Elementary School through the America
Reads A+ Program. They volunteer at the Pemi Youth Center
and the Plymouth Regional Senior Center. They help promote the Plymouth area
by staffing the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce Welcome Center.
They collect clothes and food for needy families during the annual Hunger
and Homelessness Week in hopes of raising awareness of these issues.
And there is more. PSU students can be found working at the Pemi-Baker Literacy
Task Force, Brian’s House, the Pemi Bridge House
and the Squam Lakes Science Center. They volunteer with Ashland
Parks and Recreation, the Becket House at Rumney,
the Circle Program, Habitat for Humanity, Plymouth Area Community Closet
and Main St. Plymouth. The list goes on.
PSU students annually sponsor Red Cross Blood Drives, March of Dimes
WalkAmerica, an Alternative Gift Fair and participate
in Community Service Orientation. In all, the PSU Community
Service Learning Center partners with 32 organizations to provide students service
learning opportunities. Add to that the various internships and student teaching
assignments PSU students are placed in throughout the area, and the result is
a volunteer force that couldn’t be replicated without the University.
At PSU we believe experiential learning is key to students’ growth
and development as people and professionals. Therefore, internships
and practica are required components of the curriculum for most degree options.
However, the Community Service Learning Centers exits because people
naturally want to help others. Taking part in the Centers’ activities
is strictly voluntary. It gives students the opportunity to participate in something
meaningful to them-to pursue their passions. Since we all learn best by doing,
service learning provides PSU students with experiences and challenges that
cultivate skills they will need in their careers: leadership, teamwork and responsibility.
For most students, Plymouth is their home away from home.
They care about the community, and take pride in their contributions. While
Plymouth may not be where they are from, it might just be where they decide
to put down roots.
There are more than 6,500 PSU alums living within a 40 mile radius of Plymouth.
This is their home. Like those before them, the contributions of PSU
students today will impact the Plymouth area residents of the future.
PSU students do care, they take pride in their work, and they make a
significant difference in the vitality of the community.