Alternative Service Break Day at Durham Tech
By Daniele Berman, Operations Manager
Earlier today, I had the opportunity to join colleagues from Durham’s Partnership for Children and Made in Durham on the panel of Durham Technical Community College’s first-ever Alternative Service Break Day. We were invited to share with the 15 students who gathered about the connections between poverty and education in Durham and what each of our organizations is doing to address those issues. After the panel, the students from the Center for College and Community Service spent the rest of their afternoon volunteering with me at Book Harvest–helping sort books at our warehouse to get them ready for distribution to children in the very community they had just been learning about.
Every semester, the Center for College and Community Service at Durham Tech publishes over 50 service events for groups of Durham Tech students, faculty, and staff.
Serving our community is important to Durham Tech. In fact, our mission and strategic goals clearly commit us to engaging with our communities in ways that not only help those we serve, but also allow us as a college to learn. Service, in other words, allows us to extend the walls of our classrooms and the boundaries of our campuses, providing students, faculty, and staff with hands-on, real-world experiences while helping others.
Good news: the students at Durham Tech care, and they care deeply. These are up-and-coming nurses, IT professionals, early childhood educators, paralegals, and university students whose roots are here in Durham–and they understand the issues facing children living in poverty and are determined to make a difference.
I asked Jes Dormady, Volunteer Services Coordinator, what brings the students to the Center for College and Community Service in the first place. For some, it’s an option to fulfill required hours for service learning classes, and for others, it’s part of filling a requirement for funding for other clubs. For many, though, volunteerism is just something they’re passionate about. This is the group’s third visit to Book Harvest, and they keep coming back because they love being part of the work we’re doing.