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Published 11/14/2003
Owens Students Take Part In National Make a Difference Day

Tammy Robinson of Toledo (Pre-Licensed Practical Nursing Program), Heidi Ladd of Toledo (Associate of Science, General Concentration), Jonathan Stewart of Sylvania (Pre-Nursing Program) and Jordan Burrows of Toledo (Computer Programming Technology). A group of Owens Community College students recently took it upon themselves to give back in their community through volunteerism. Benefiting from the selfless acts of kindness was the Boys and Girls Club of Toledo.

As part of their volunteer initiative, the students assisted with the organization's annual Halloween Party. More than 300 area youth ages seven to 18 were treated to a variety of games and activities, highlighted by pumpkin judging, basketball free throw shooting and ring toss contests. In addition, individuals decorated pumpkins and broke piñatas filled with an assortment of candy.

Among the students who participated in the Halloween Party were Tammy Robinson of Toledo (Pre-Licensed Practical Nursing Program), Heidi Ladd of Toledo (Associate of Science, General Concentration), Jonathan Stewart of Sylvania (Pre-Nursing Program) and Jordan Burrows of Toledo (Computer Programming Technology).

The volunteer efforts of Owens' students occurred in conjunction with a nationwide event entitled Make a Difference Day. Sponsored by "USA Weekend" Magazine, Make a Difference Day is a 24-hour service initiative dedicated to encouraging individuals and organizations to help others by volunteering. More than three million people participate in the event each year.

The Boys and Girls Club of Toledo provides community service to over 6,000 area youth in the surrounding communities. With four locations in Toledo, the organization is dedicated to promoting leadership, character building and career development, while emphasizing social, cultural and educational growth among children and young adults. The club utilizes professional staff and volunteers to help instill a sense of self-esteem and self-reliance in children to become productive citizens.

"I learned a lot from my volunteer experience," said Robinson, who was one of the student volunteers. "Adults and young adults can have a very strong influence on children and how they grow up. To be a positive person in a child's life is a great feeling. I definitely plan on getting involved in volunteer work again."

Assisting the students in their volunteer endeavors were Owens' faculty members Dorothy Bonser and Bruce Gamble. The two professors served as the students' advisors for Make a Difference Day and volunteered several hours of their own time to help with the Halloween Party.

According to Bonser, an Owens Professor in Arts and Sciences, the students decided to participate in Make a Difference Day as a way of better understanding what it means to volunteer. "They wanted to know what it was like to personally affect the lives of those in need," she said.

Bonser added, "Volunteering is an important facet of a person's life and I am impressed with the enthusiasm from our students. Organized events, such as Make a Difference Day, are admirable because so many people benefit from the nationwide volunteer activism.

"Helping with the Boys and Girls Club was a great experience for all of us. I hope that this is only the beginning of future volunteer efforts for these students, and that there will be other activities in which they can participate," she concluded.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Ohio with 26 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 40,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor 's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.


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