The GOAL volunteer program is now accepting applications for leaders. Seven out of 21 of the volunteer programs have positions opening. The GOAL coordinator is also up for application, as this year’s coordinator will step into the role of director.
“Because there’s such a big turnover every year, the leader shadowing this semester is so important. And that’s why we hire so early in the semester,” junior Lucile Townley, program coordinator, said
The position comes with a scholarship, due to the required time commitment. Leaders dedicate 75 hours per semester making sure their program run smoothly, either through administrative tasks or by volunteering at the actual program.
The new leader can also explore taking the program in a different direction and can brainstorm with the current leader.
Townley said volunteering is a great way to further a liberal arts education.
“The whole aim of Hillsdale being a liberal arts school is we’re here to become better, more complete, well-rounded humans and learn how we can be good citizens,” Townley said. “A huge part of being a good citizen is helping your community and volunteering in your community. So being a GOAL program leader allows you to have a vision for how you want to help the community.”
Students can apply to be leaders of Young Life, Buddy Reading, Music in the Community, High Rise, Special Education Assistance, Public School Tutoring, and Hillsdale Buddies.
“They do volunteer in the program, but a lot of their job is working with community members to figure out what the need is and then working with both their peers and the GOAL office to figure out ‘how can we meet these needs,’” Townley said. “So a lot of what they do is scheduling and recruiting volunteers and making sure volunteers have rides to get places and then — a lot of our programs work with education — so communicating with the teachers ‘are these volunteers meeting yours needs, do they need more training, how can we train them differently?’
Applicants are interviewed by Program Director senior Allison Deckert, Townley, Associate Dean of Women Rebekah Dell, and — this year — Associate Dean of Men Jeffery Rogers.
“He’s a good presence to have in that process,” Deckert said.
Deckert said that while qualified applicants are offered an interview, it’s a highly competitive process, with seven or eight applications per position, so not every applicant is guaranteed an interview.
Sophomore Emily Skwarek, the new hospital volunteer leader, has been shadowing senior Katelyn Bercaw, the current leader.
“Just because it’s such an intense program, that’s why we hire ahead of time for hospital volunteering,” Townley said.
Bercaw explained what the shadowing process looks like after a new leader is hired.
“What I’ll be doing with Emily this semester is meeting with her, and I’ll be meeting with different staff at the hospital so she can get to know them and so I can introduce her to all those contacts over at the hospital,” she said. “And then I’ll be showing her how to run different meetings such as new volunteer orientations and I’ll be showing her how to keep track of all the volunteers.”
The new leader for Students Against Cancer, sophomore Sarah Becker, was also hired last semester.
The deadline for applications is Feb. 28, and must be submitted through Handshake. Interviews are scheduled on a rolling basis.