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Students Helping Students

Resource and referral center volunteers.The heart and soul of MCTC is a rich culture of people reaching out to one another in powerful, sometimes life changing ways. Providing basic resources and initiating change through the work of students provide energy and vitality to our campus.

Providing resources for change

On any given day at MCTC, some students struggle to concentrate on their studies because they are facing challenges including unstable housing and homelessness, lack of affordable child care and hunger. Recognizing how difficult it is to focus on school amidst these challenges, a group of caring staff, faculty and students have created a welcoming space in MCTC’s Resource and Referral Center to assist students who are overcoming barriers to moving forward.

“I was unaware of the tremendous needs of some of our students until I began volunteering in the Resource and Referral Center,” said Meron Tebeje, student volunteer and member of the Student Life group Students Against Hunger and Homelessness. “Seated next to you in class may be someone who is hungry, even homeless. The Resource Center in collaboration with Students Against Hunger and Homelessness provides a safe, confidential space for students to access support.”

In addition to providing basic needs resources and referrals, the Center hosts community organizations throughout each month to provide additional support to students. The non-perishable food shelf, open Wednesday’s and Friday’s, provides snack bags, soups and other food for students who are hungry. A small clothes closet helps outfit students for class, interviews or everyday life. Child care grants and emergency grants are also available on a limited basis to qualifying students.

Donations to the Center are provided by generous faculty, staff, students and members of the MCTC community. Special drives are also held throughout the year to ensure students have what they need.

Student groups come alive at MCTC

MCTC prides itself on giving students a chance to develop strong leadership skills both inside and outside of the classroom. More than 40 student groups provide opportunities for students to get involved in their community on- and off-campus.

  • The Urban Farm Collective is an example of a group where students come together to practice sustainable food cultivation and gardening practices. Through a variety of innovative and traditional gardening techniques, students grow and harvest fresh produce. Forging bonds within the community, the group donated more than 500 pounds of food to people in need.
  • The MCTC Bike Collective gathers students with an avid interest in biking to provide informational workshops on riding, commuting, bike maintenance and safety. Twice a week, student members host “open shop days” so the MCTC biking community can bring their bikes in for adjustments and other maintenance issues. “A large percentage of students, staff and faculty commute on bikes to the campus,” said Russell Raczkowski, faculty advisor. “The Collective is a great way for students to support this economical and environmentally-friendly method of transportation.”
  • Health and wellness on campus is supported in myriad ways. When the Addiction Counseling Club hosted its Operation Recovery event, students, staff, faculty and community groups gathered for a great summer event to raise awareness about addiction and its impact.

“MCTC is an educational training ground for our future leaders,” said MCTC President Phil Davis. “It’s amazing how the ideas that are sparked on our downtown campus pave the way for sustainable and powerful change throughout our community.”

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