Giving Back Through Geneva Heroes – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Giving Back Through Geneva Heroes

Throughout the spring semester, Geneva Heroes, a mentorship program between HWS students and Geneva middle and high school students, had an exciting line-up of service and community engagement projects.

Designed for sixth to 12th-graders, Geneva Heroes provides opportunities for a range of community service projects, including helping the Geneva Free Library sort books for its annual book fest, cleaning and organizing the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, and cleaning St. Peter’s church. Participants met every Saturday throughout the semester.

In addition, this year’s Geneva Heroes students participated in setting up Days of Service activities, Festival of Nations, and they also attended a local nursing home to engage the elderly residents in a game of Bingo.

“I hope the potential impact of Geneva Heroes on young people is that they are able to recognize the importance that service can have in becoming a better person,” says Madeline Buckley ’15, who is the Civic Leader of the Geneva Heroes program. “As a member of a community, it’s vital to give back.”

After serving as a team leader for her first two years at HWS, Buckley is currently the Civic Leader of the Geneva Heroes program. She got involved her first year at HWS when she heard about the program through Mary Herlihy Gearan who suggested the program to her.

The Geneva Heroes program currently engages 40 Geneva middle and high school students and 10 HWS leaders. This year, the leaders organized a retreat in the Hirshson Ballroom where the middle and high school students engaged in fun games and activities. One of the memorable events the group has had this year was sorting the books in the Geneva Free Library, receiving accolades from the library staff for their help and support. They also met with the Random Acts of Kindness House for the young students to interact and play musical chairs.

“We want the kids to have fun while doing service at 9 a.m. on Saturdays when they could be home sleeping,” Buckley says “But instead they choose to wake up early and learn how to be leaders and good citizens. I love this program and how it brings HWS and Geneva together.”