By: Erik Pedersen, Content Strategy Director
BALTIMORE – 马里兰大学圣母大学’s 约克道教育 & 服务(YES)程序 began during the 2018-19 academic year as primarily a tutoring initiative to support children at a pair of nearby Baltimore schools. After an extended pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one NDMU alumnae has spent the past 10 months not just restarting the program, but overseeing a significant expansion to benefit both Notre Dame 学生 and the surrounding community.
Kristina Pickering ’22 returned to campus through Transform Mid-Atlantic’s 美国志愿队VISTA项目, beginning a one-year stint last January as coordinator of the YES Program at NDMU. 她和Lindsay Chudzik, NDMU’s director of service learning and community engagement, have worked extensively to maintain and build upon relationships with Govans Elementary School and Tunbridge Public Charter School on York Road.
The original tutoring program – with a focus on math and reading comprehension – still remains, but NDMU 学生 now also have an opportunity to volunteer in several other capacities at the two schools. Several serve as mentors for the Diamond Girls, an afterschool program for girls at Govans Elementary centered around empowerment, while others work as teacher’s aides in classrooms at Tunbridge.
“I had always wanted to be a part of the YES program – it started when I was a freshman here – but I felt a bit limited in what I could do as a biology and philosophy double major,皮克林说。. “这个项目对任何专业都开放, but with the original emphasis on tutoring it appealed mainly to education majors. We’ve worked hard to create new opportunities so that everyone can be encouraged to serve regardless of their major.”
皮克林招募了几个NDMU的人 邦纳学生领袖 去年春天加入YES项目, and she has partnered with several NDMU 100 courses this fall to bring first-year 学生 into the initiative. The program currently has close to 60 volunteers – when Pickering began her role last winter, 只有11人.
The program has spread to all areas of NDMU’s campus. The 学校 of Nursing and Pharmacy hosted a health fair last March which provided valuable service opportunities for their 学生 while introducing the children at Govans and Tunbridge to both professions. Pickering hopes to also bring in NDMU’s athletic programs to assist with after-school recreational activities.
“I’m trying to get as many departments involved as possible,” she said. “Because every student here has the ability to share their own talents with the next generation if they’re matched with the right program, class, 或活动. It makes a big impact for both them and the children.”
With the YES initiative currently seeing record levels of participation from NDMU 学生, a key priority this semester is to ensure that the program remains set up for success after Pickering’s one-year VISTA term concludes in January.
“I’m hoping to create a leadership board for 学生 who are super excited and passionate about YES,皮克林说. “That would not only give them an opportunity to have leadership experience, but it would also allow them to create their own programs, engage more with the children and really get involved. That’s ultimately what service is all about. It’s not about one person, it’s a group effort.”
成立于1895年, 马里兰大学圣母大学 (NDMU) is a private, 巴尔的摩的天主教机构, 马里兰, with the mission to educate leaders to transform the world. Notre Dame has been named one of the best "Regional Universities North" by U.S. 新闻 & 世界报道.