Through the Colleges’ Summer of Service program, eight HWS students became volunteers and coordinators in the Geneva community, enriching and supporting Geneva youth education programs. Participants presented on their experiences at an event hosted by the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning at the Geneva Community Center on Aug. 6. Students described the projects they designed and implemented, as well as shared stories about their personal growth as professionals and educators.
“One of the highlights this summer has been the ability to leverage additional community partnerships,” says Director of CCESL Katie Flowers. Since its launch with AmeriCorps in 2010, HWS students have collectively contributed about 15,000 hours of service through the program which receives support from Thomas J. Patchett ’88, Dr. Marguerite S. Murphy and Dr. Brian Cooper.
Five participants served as mentors at the Boys and Girls Club of Geneva, including Cassidy Carrafiello ’19, MAT ’20, Bailey DiSanto ’21, Claire Joshi ’21, Nicholas Rahaman ’20 and Catherine Sherwood ’20. Their cumulative experience in child psychology, lesson planning and athletics led the HWS students to design original programming for Boys and Girls Club members.
Carrafiello, a member of the HWS Teacher Education Program, designed a community-focused and interactive map project called “Geneva Gems” for first through third graders. After drawing maps of the city, students identified and visited important Geneva landmarks and institutions.
“My Summer of Service experience was invaluable as I was able to design new projects and fold myself into a new work environment as my first post-grad experience,” says Carrafiello, who graduated cum laude in English and begins the HWS Master of Arts in Teaching program this fall.
In partnership with Geneva Community Projects, sociology major and art history minor Kevin Cervantes ’21 developed a curriculum for youth engagement using the Seneca 634 Mural on Castle Street. The curriculum celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the mural created by Keith Millington and incorporates themes that inspired the original work, including intersectional histories and identities. This summer, Cervantes also interned at the Smithsonian Institute in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Education Department.
Avery Wickersham ’19, MAT ’20, who graduated cum laude in mathematics and educational studies, served as the student coordinator for the HWS Community Sale. Her efforts helped raise $9,952 for the community-compact initiative Geneva 2020. The sale also diverted 14,346 pounds of clothing, shoes, electronics, furniture and food from landfills. Wickersham also served as an intern on the HWS Fribolin Farm.
Swellar Zhou ’19, who earned a double major in writing and rhetoric and sociology, completed several projects, including a website redesign for the Geneva Education Foundation, the creation of a promotional poster for CCESL programs, and the development of a binder for Geneva high school students that includes timelines for college and FAFSA applications. Zhou has begun a yearlong position with Rochester Youth Year.
The Colleges’ emphasis on service and community engagement has received national praise. For the second year in a row, Hobart and William Smith Colleges have been named the top liberal arts institution for service in Washington Monthly’s College Guide and Rankings. Since 2005, the policy magazine has rated U.S. colleges and universities based on their contributions to society, taking into consideration social mobility, research and service.