The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 22, 2014

CCC gives back to community

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — A community college is defined as a junior college offering a higher education to people living in a particular area. For the staff, faculty and students at Clinton Community College the definition of community plays a much bigger role than just the location where they learn and teach.

The community to them is their sustainability, their fortitude and their support so to give thanks, the junior college is giving back.

Pay it Forward Week began Monday as part of a bigger celebration of Community College Month, which CCC has celebrated since 2003. To add a little more to the annual recognition month, administrators decided to implement a week of community service.

“There have always been a lot of community service activities within the college,” Community College Month Committee chairwoman Ann Eisenman said. “We decided this year to combine some of the service events together so that we could have a concentrated effort of community service.”

That service began Monday with the Adopt a Highway clean-up project spearheaded by the CCC Student Senate.

For more than 20 years the group has committed to cleaning a 2-mile stretch of U.S. 67 near Camanche, a commitment that earned it the governor’s service award three years ago.

This is the first time, however, that the clean-up project was part of a bigger community service effort developed by the college.

“Community service is important to all of us at the college,” CCC Registrar and Student Senate Adviser Mardell Mommsen said. “We’ve been doing this for more than 20 years but it’s nice to get others involved and this year we’ve got a really well-rounded group.”

Around 15 students and faculty members joined in Monday’s efforts to beautify the community but it was just the beginning of a week full of helping others.

The efforts continue today with a series of phone calls from volunteers thanking donors of the school for their commitment to sustaining and growing the college.

Thursday’s event will touch more of a nationwide spectrum of people as students gather items to be donated to the Operation Healing Angel program, which supports wounded service members and their caregivers.

While the Operation Healing Angel participation reaches a much wider range of people, Eisenman feels the message remains the same.

“I think it’s really important that people remember that other people have different lives, different needs and challenges and that we all bring different talents to Clinton Community College,” she said. “If we can share those talents and our time, then perhaps we can improve our community and provide a service that others may not be able to.”

CCC student and Student Senate Treasurer Traci Handel agreed with Eisenman and added that although they may be a small group, their efforts are still making a difference.

“I think it’s a wonderful way to give back to the community,” Handel said. “It doesn’t take us anything to do it and it really makes you feel good.”

Amy Kent can be reached at amykent@clintonherald.com.