Michelle McIntrye-Brewer was one of 13 recipients to receive the 2011 Presidential Citizenship Medal. McIntyre-Brewer is a 2001 graduate of Cumberland Valley High School in Mechanicsburg, Pa. who now lives in Maryland.
McIntyre-Brewer created a program called Soldier’s List in 2003, just after the start of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The program was a way to send care packages to soldiers overseas. McIntyre-Brewer was inspired to start this program because her father was an Air Force veteran, and she felt compelled to support the troops currently fighting for us. As one of the 6,000 nominees, McIntyre-Brewer exemplifies our school motto: “Educate for Service.”
Elizabethtown College supports many programs that live up to the motto. One of the programs, Into the Streets, occurred just a few weekends ago. This is a program here on campus that occurs once a year.
During Into the Streets, students from different clubs and classes go out and volunteer their time to the community of Etown. They do activities like cleaning up yards, and this year some groups repaired homes that were destroyed by the recent flood. Into the Streets provides students a great opportunity to help the community and live up to the College’s motto.
Some other projects on campus include the Resident Assistance Program (RAP), Hunger and Homeless Awareness, Science in Motion and after school programs. There are many more programs; if you are interested in what they are, visit the Center for Community and Civic Engagement.
At such a small college, it is hard to believe that almost 80 percent of the student population is involved in some type of program that is going to help or benefit someone else. This could mean anything from being in a club on campus to working for Learning Services or helping with Into the Streets.
John Craig, the director of the Center for Global Citizenship, said, “We need to get this achievement out more; it is a privilege to be going to a four-year institution, and it would be great if almost everyone would be able to help out somehow. If you remember last year, the school was selling cranes for a $1 each for the disaster that happened overseas. This year they are already talking about ideas for a fundraiser that is going to help benefit Turkey, since they [Turkey] just had an earthquake.”
Nancy Valkenburg, the director of the Center for Community and Civic Engagement, said, “It is important for the students to share their learning experiences with the community.”
Some students do not feel comfortable with the projects because of the location. Once they take that step and end up doing the project, they usually end up loving it. Valkenburg loves to hear students say that they had a great experience with the project.
Most of the projects that the professors and department chairs put together for students involve the educators joining the students.
Valkenburg said she has two favorite projects. The first is Moving Forward Together, which pairs a first-year student here at Etown with a first-year student from an area high school. This is one of her favorite projects because it is great to see the students’ transformations over the four years and watch how close they become to each other.
Valkenburg’s other favorite project involves the service trips. This year the group is going to be heading to a town in Mississippi in January. The town was recently hit by a tornado, so the area is certainly in need of aid. So far, 30 people have already signed up; if students are interested in the trip, they are encouraged to get more information from the Center.
While the College may be small, it definitely fulfills the motto “Educate for Service.” We have great students on campus who are willing to give up their free time to go out and help others. It is a great tradition, and it is significant that the College has a reputation for wanting to go out and help people.