Walla Walla Public Schools honored the Whitman College Student Engagement Center (SEC) as one of three Community Partners of the Year. The district noted that the collaboration between the two organizations “continues to grow,” with more than 350 Whitman students volunteering in district schools to “provide tutoring services, act as role models and enrich program activities.” Associate Dean of Students Noah Leavitt and Mentor Program Coordinator Katrina Kerrigan ’17 (psychology) attended the school board meeting to accept the award on behalf of the SEC.
Whitman College has also received a one-year, $11,900 grant from the Council of Independent Colleges to support a new community service program called “Men Making Meals.” With the grant, Whitman’s Student Engagement Center will partner with the Walla Walla Senior Center and the United Way to provide cooking classes and companionship to older adults. The CIC’s Intergenerational Connections grant program, which is supported by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), is designed to enhance connections between college students and older adults. “Men Making Meals” will assist seniors—often men—who may not have learned to cook due to the gender roles of their generation, but whose wives have now passed away or become unable to cook. By teaching senior citizens basic cooking skills, student interns will help alleviate concerns related to poor nutrition and significant expense associated with prepared or take-out meals, as well as encourage fellowship and reduce isolation. For students, the program will provide an opportunity to form positive intergenerational connections and break down some of the stereotypes young people sometimes have about older adults. The “Men Making Meals” program will support eight Whitman student interns during the 2017-18 academic year.
Source: “The Fountain”, Whitman College – May 8, 2017. https://www.whitman.edu/fountain/fountain2017/the-fountain-may-8-2017