Center for Public Service Hosts 2022 Engage Expo
By Sarah Laud, Features Editor
Photo Credit Sarah Laud/The Gettysburgian
Every fall, the Center for Public Service (CPS) hosts its Engage Expo, an informational event to advertise the center’s various volunteer and immersion programs.
This year’s Engage Expo took place in the Jaeger Center Lobby on Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The Expo introduces students interested in community service to CPS.
Representatives from the center’s different programs presented their organization’s poster and talked about the unique volunteering opportunities. This year, over 12 programs and three immersion projects were presented. For those who missed the Expo, CPS has all of its programs listed on its website and on EngageGettysburg.
Support Circles is an initiative to provide financial literacy to families in poverty. The program offers financial classes to help parents overcome any financial struggles. Support Circles is based out of a local building where financial literacy classes are held upstairs and a daycare program for the children of the parents using the program is held downstairs. Gettysburg students can volunteer to work with the children.
Campus Kitchen is a food distribution program that takes donated food from Servo, Sheetz, and Kennie’s that would otherwise be thrown out and turns them into meals to serve underprivileged communities. Students who sign-up to volunteer will work in the kitchen, prep produce, gather ingredients, and cook meals.
El Centro is an after-school program that the College hosts for children elementary school children. The children come from Spanish-speaking homes. The program is a way for college students to practice their language skills while helping the greater Gettysburg community. El Centro is a program that the Spanish department typically provides as a 4th-hour credit opportunity. Though, all Gettysburg College students are welcome to sign-up. The program takes place every weekday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Casa de Cultura hosts several non-profit programs that CPS partners with. The first is Vida Charter School. Vida is a bilingual school focused on two goals: to create compassionate and kind global citizens and to inspire young minds to take what they learn in the classroom and into the world around them. This year, Vida is working with student volunteers to build a garden, learning about science and nutrition in the children’s own backyard. Additionally, Vida is looking for a bilingual student to come speak to the students as inspiration for their future.
Casa de Cultura also hosts Sunday Swimming, a physical education program teaching children how to swim. Student volunteers work with children in their learning journey to become strong swimmers. Sunday Swimming runs every Sunday on October 16 to November 20 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.
Healthy Futures, the third Casa de Cultura program, offers resources and various programs to the Latinx community in Gettysburg. Healthy Futures strives to create a bridge in the gap between the general population in Gettysburg and the Latinx community by offering and providing for families in need. The program hosts health literacy workshops and nutrition classes for parents during which daycare will be provided for their children.
Casa de Cultura also hosts Adult ESL Classes to teach English to adults.
The final Casa de la Cultura program is the college prep program. Through this program, first-generation students receive assistance with applying to colleges. This mentorship teaches students how to fill out application documents, complete the FAFSA, and how to best market themselves to prospective colleges.
The Painted Turtle Farm is Gettysburg’s campus-community farm. Located behind the baseball field, the farm is half a community garden and half agricultural support. The garden helps people who do not have room to grow their food at home to be able to do so in another space. Outside of being a provider for families in need, the Painted Turtle Farm also sells its produce. The Painted Turtle Farm offers opportunities for students to volunteer to help maintain the farm.
Partnerships for Sustainability is a new program at CPS. This program partners with environmental organizations in the community to address sustainability issues. Volunteer opportunities include various clean-ups, plantings, and spreading awareness.
Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) is one of the nation’s largest non-profit mentorship programs. A volunteer, also known as a mentor, is matched with their mentee, a child often going through some sort of at-home trauma or another struggle in their life. During the duration of a student’s volunteerism at the college, their mentee will remain the same to provide a stable and consistent relationship.
Project Gettysburg-León (PGL) is a non-profit supporting the sustainable development of South American countries. Gettysburg is partnered with León, Nicaragua for which the program fundraises through events such as their annual auction and Salsa on the Square. This year’s Salsa on the Square takes place on September 30 from 5:30 to 10 p.m.
South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP) is a local food pantry. They support low-income communities and promote sustainable eating habits. The food pantry strives to create a mainstream shopping experience for its communities. Volunteers help maintain the food pantry, stock the warehouse, and aid in giving the shopping experience SCCAP aims to provide.
CPS also has non-volunteer programs such as Dialogue Groups and Community GIGs. Dialogue Groups are designated spaces that CPS created to hold discussions about various discussions. eRace converses about minority group experiences, held on Thursdays from 12 to 1 p.m. in Glatfelter Lodge. nGender, talking about discourse in gender and sexuality takes place on Tuesdays from 12:00 to 2 p.m. at the Gender and Sexualities Resource Center. Students do not need to sign up to participate.
CPS also hosts winter break and spring break immersion trips, including The Lakota Culture: Pine Ridge Reservation, LGBTQ+ Rights: Cuernavaca and Mexico City, Health and Education as Human Rights in Costa Rica, Food, Globalization, and Sustainability in Nepal, Peace Building and Development in Rwanda, and Women’s Rights and Islam in Morocco.