A Unique Way to Serve – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

A Unique Way to Serve

The Colleges recently welcomed Holly Kahn as their new staff member who will oversee AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America). AmeriCorps VISTA is one of five national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service and is the only such program specifically dedicated to alleviating poverty by helping individuals who are living in low-income neighborhoods.

“It’s a fantastic program,” says Kahn. “I’m looking forward to helping make both HWS and the larger Geneva community a better place through my efforts.”

In addition, Kahn will facilitate the Geneva Reads Initiative, a partnership between schools and libraries, government and community agencies, and others in Geneva, to raise the level of literacy in people of all ages and to increase the importance of reading and the reader in the community.

Kahn will also organize a Community Reads program, and will conduct a community-based research project in the city of Geneva. The project, a community garden at the new Geneva Community Center, was a collaborative effort which arose in Associate Professor of Education Paul Kehle’s fall 2008 “Teaching Environmental Sustainability.” 

An important component of Kahn’s responsibilities as an AmeriCorps VISTA is aiding HWS students in their volunteer capacities, including the planning of campus-wide events, organizing and participating in an Alternative Spring Break trip, supporting the Community Service House, and training Bonner Leaders.

“Working with people has always been a passion of mine, and I am so excited to begin this new journey!”

Kahn graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2009 with a B.S.ED in Childhood and Special Education. She intends to pursue a master’s degree in higher education, focusing on student affairs.