Over the weekend of February 25th & 26th, a group of nine college students from Central Michigan University's Alternative Breaks Program volunteered with us here at the Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County (CAC Lapeer). They spent ten hours at our center painting the CAC's Medical SANE/SART room, researching various ways to monitor children online, as well as apps/websites that could pose danger to children, and much more. During their weekend visit to Lapeer, the group stayed at Lapeer Assembly of God where they were able to sleep, eat, and prepare for their service-filled weekend!
It may be hard to believe that college students spent their weekend days volunteering, but at Central Michigan University it's a common theme for their students. The Alternative Breaks Program at CMU is ranked #3 in the nation...and rightfully so! The student-led program provides students the opportunity to educate themselves on social issues, give back to communities, and help students discover their passions. It is a tremendously influential program that allows students to delve into communities in need while gaining hands-on experience working with current social issues. The program creates opportunities for college students to not only educate themselves, but to also "bring it back" to their own communities. The program's mission is: To provide students the opportunity to develop into life-long active citizens in local, national and global communities through diverse, direct-service experiences dedicated to social justice.
Check out their program statistics!
As you can see, it is an impressive program and we are so thrilled to have had the opportunity to partner with them!
Throughout the weekend, the students were provided with education and knowledge surrounding the issue of child abuse and neglect. They observed presentations, toured the Center, and were provided information on the importance of the Child Advocacy Center.
They completed projects including constructing pin wheels for April's Child Abuse Awareness Month....
...cleaning up outside...
... researching apps/websites...
...painting the medical S.A.N.E./S.A.R.T. room, and so much more!
The students ranging from freshmen to seniors had a lot to say in regards to their experience. Jonathan Nieri states, "Child abuse and neglect wasn't a familiar topic to me, so I wanted to learn more about it. Now I am able to be more vocal about the issue and can spread knowledge on it." When students were asked why they wanted to volunteer at Lapeer CAC, Tiffany Smrtnik stated, "Since going into Education, I was interested in learning about the wraparound services the schools could utilize. Now I am more aware of how accessible these resources are."
Prior to their arrival, the students discussed information they already knew about child abuse and neglect, CACs and any questions they had related to the issue. After reflecting on their first day at CAC Lapeer, the students shared with our staff that their knowledge of child abuse and neglect and CACs grew tremendously!
CAC Lapeer is always looking for ways to spread awareness, education, and knowledge to not only the Lapeer Community, but to ALL communities because child abuse and neglect is an issue that impacts EVERY community. We are excited that these college students were able to spend a weekend learning about all we do here at CAC Lapeer and are very thankful for all of their help!
If you are interested in volunteering with the Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County, please contact us at (810) 664-9990 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org !