Junior Peter Flynn with Cas­sandra Stuckey at the Hillside Lanes bowling alley with the Hillsdale Buddies GOAL Program. Elly Guensche | Courtesy

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.