This fall, a familiar face took up residence in the Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning when Christie Torruella, a Geneva native and former William Smith student, joined the staff at the Center.
As the Geneva Site Manager of the Jumpstart, Torruella will oversee the program as well as recruit, train and manage the 40 HWS students who will be working with young children at three sites throughout the Geneva community this semester through Jumpstart.
Torruella, along with Director Ave Bauder ’81, will also be responsible for supervising several changes to the Jumpstart program. This year, instead of working one-on-one with preschoolers, the Jumpstart volunteers will work with 2 children. The program will also add a third Jumpstart site and has increased the number of HWS student volunteers.
“As a student, one of my favorite experiences was Jumpstart, so it’s great to get a second chance to be involved in the program,” said Torruella. “I’m really looking forward to all of the changes to the program this year. We’ll be able to double the number of children we’re helping.”
A Geneva native, Torruella attended William Smith College for two years before transferring to SUNY Oswego, where she majored in public relations. “I was actually a Headstart student when I was a child, so this program is very dear to my heart. It’s my community, my school, my program. I couldn’t be happier to be back in Geneva and at HWS.”
Jumpstart, founded in 1993 at Yale University, dedicates itself to the need for quality early childhood programs and the emerging national service movement recruiting thousands of college students to community service. For over a decade they’ve been bringing together at-risk preschool children and caring adults, through one-on-one relationships that focus on building literacy in combination with social and emotional readiness. Student volunteers, who devote 300 over the course of the academic year, receive one full academic credit and a $1,000 education voucher.