Geneva Heroes Builds Community Relationships – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Geneva Heroes Builds Community Relationships

It was another productive spring for Geneva Heroes, the mentorship program that pairs HWS students with middle and high school students from the Geneva City School District (GCSD). The eight-week program, founded in 1996, is staffed and run by HWS students; they recruit GCSD participants and then lead them in teambuilding, leadership and service activities in the Geneva area.

This spring, 16 HWS students and 20 students from Geneva Middle and High Schools met every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Together they cleaned at the Knights of Columbus, played games with residents of a senior living facility, helped the Geneva Public Library prepare for its annual book sale and participated in the spring Day of Service, raking leaves and hauling brush at a local cemetery.

Grant Emerson ’20, Alexandria Knipper ’21 and Ian Tulloch ’19 served as this year’s Geneva Heroes coordinators.

Knipper appreciates the relationship building that takes place during program activities. “It’s more than just community service,” she says. “It gives us the opportunity to be mentors to the Geneva students.”

Tulloch was involved with the program as a student at Newark High School and found himself drawn back to it on campus as a Hobart student. “The connection with community service and the local area was a large influence on my decision to come to HWS,” he says. “The program allows the Colleges and the City of Geneva to become closer as a community.”

Emerson agrees. “It allows us to build lasting relationships,” he says. Being a part of Geneva Heroes “gives you a feeling of appreciation of going to college in an engaged community.”

Lily Silver is an eighth grader at Geneva Middle School and was a member of Geneva Heroes this spring. “I really like being able to give back to the community and make a difference,” she says. Her mother, Dean for Teaching, Learning and Assessment and Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Susan Pliner, notes that “having an organized program for community engagement and service has been valuable for Lily. It connects her to HWS students in ways she hadn’t experienced before.”

For more information about Geneva Heroes, including how to get involved, e-mail