Dozens of federal work study students are taking advantage of a special program at Virginia Tech that allows them to work off-campus with partnering community service agencies.
When the Community Service Work Study program began in 2012, eight students served in five community agencies. Last year, the program expanded to 29 students in more than 10 organizations. The program coordinator said they hope to continue the growth of the program to serve 20 agencies by the end of 2015.
“There is no better job than a community service job that exemplifies our university’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve),” said Gloria Hoover, federal work study coordinator in the Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid.
Cassidy Kees of Madison, Virginia, a rising senior majoring in animal and poultry sciences, has worked the last year at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Christiansburg.
While Kees helps with a variety of projects, her main task has been to repurpose items in the store. “We had a bunch of shutters that were not selling on their own. We had to come up with a way to give people a different view of how they can use them,” Kees said. She adapted them into shelves. “I try to take something we have a lot of and give it a new purpose so that more people will buy it.”
“I love working here because I get to come and be creative,” Kees said. “It’s nice after a stressful school week to come here and work on a project. Then to see that project have positive feedback is really nice too.”
Community service organizations that partner with the program provide 20 percent of the students salary, while the Virginia Tech-directed federal work study program covers the remaining 80 percent. Virginia Tech handles all employment processing and payment to the student.
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