OCC students and employees spent a day giving back to the community as part of the annual Onondaga Day of Service. More than 70 students chose to volunteer off campus by assisting at Salvation Army, Rescue Mission, Samaritan Center, Van Duyn Center and Jubilee Homes Southwest Community Learning Farm. There was also an opportunity for students to volunteer time on campus by making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the Samaritan Center, Thanksgiving Cards for Meals on Wheels recipients, Thank You cards for Veterans and by making dog toys. Onondaga’s 2017 Day of Service enjoyed record participation. A total of 178 students, faculty and staff volunteers chose to donate their time to the community. While much of their work off campus couldn’t be quantified, on campus outputs included:
184 Thank You cards for veterans
283 Thanksgiving cards for Meals on Wheels recipients
60 dog toys for Helping Hounds dog rescue
160 PB&J sandwiches to be distributed by the Samaritan Center.
A committee of College employees organized the event including Meghan Peryea, La’Kesa Allen, Mike Borsz, Liz Goldschein and Maria Malagisi, Assistant Director of Service-Learning. “We are so proud of everyone who was willing to come together and make a difference as a collective unit,” said Malagisi. “The word ‘community’ is our middle name. We are always willing to do what we can for our neighbors.”
Annette Oliva enjoys helping people whether she’s volunteering in the community or working with students in OCC’s Learning Center. “I love meeting new students and developing semester-long relationships with my regulars,” she said. In recognition of her outstanding service Oliva has been named the Learning Center’s “Tutor of the Month” for September. She tutors most of the general biology courses including Microbiology, Genetics and Anatomy & Physiology.
Oliva brings a lengthy record of success in service professions to campus. She earned a degree in health education from Ithaca College, then served as a caseworker with Child Protective Services. Oliva also owned and operated a child care center in Cicero for 20 years. When she decided to attend graduate school Oliva realized she needed to refresh her science and statistics classes. She did so both at Le Moyne College and here at OCC.
Today she is a volunteer at St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Rescue Mission. At St. Joe’s she has given more than 1,000 hours, helping families whose loved ones are undergoing resuscitation. At the Rescue Mission Oliva helped paint and refresh the food pantry. She goes there often to keep it organized and stocked. She also interacts with clients and helps them make healthy food choices for themselves and their families.
“I really enjoy service professions. In particular, I love teaching and tutoring and I love working at the Learning Center,” she said. Congratulations to Annette Oliva, September’s “Tutor of the Month!”
When you support Onondaga Community College, you are making a statement that you believe in the importance of quality affordable education for everyone. You are creating new opportunities and new beginnings for students and our greater community.