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Campus News

Local NGOs Assisted by Warren Wilson Students over the Summer

by Mariah Parker, Multimedia EditorFor the first time this summer, the Service Learning Office coordinated weekly service trips for students who remained in the area. Sophomores Danielle Landy and Emily Ehley led outings to the Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Treatment Center (BMC) and the Lord’s Acre community garden in Fairview throughout the summer.

“It was mostly student-initiated,” said Debra Kiliru, Interim Dean of Service Learning. “Students wanted to stay engaged over the summer, so we did our best to assist them.”

Every Tuesday night, Landy and a group of four students, including Ecodorm RD Tim Comstock and sophomores Chris Marshall and Eli Winkenwerder visited BMC, a neuromedical treatment center for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental disabilities.

“It’s really intimidating if you haven’t worked with that population before, but the more you go, the more comfortable you become,” said Landy. “Going weekly helped us to build and maintain relationships with staff, faculty, as well as residents.”

Students helped transport residents to activity sites and played music with the Bud Lewis bluegrass-gospel group, which provides weekly entertainment for BMC residents.

“The students were a great addition,” said Brenda Ross, BMC Events Coordinator. “Without them, it wouldn’t be as fun or exciting.”

On Wednesdays, Ehley led trips to the Lord’s Acre, where groups of four to five students assisted with planting, set up, and harvesting of green beans, potatoes, okra and other vegetables for welcome tables in local churches. The harvest is also used in weekly meals that are open to the whole community..

“I enjoyed working and living at Wilson all summer, but you get even more isolated,” Ehley said. “It was good to get off campus and remember that the world was still happening around me.”

Through November, the Service Learning Office will continue to coordinate weekly trips to the Lord’s Acre on Wednesdays from 5:40-8:30. There will also be weekly trips to the BMC on Tuesday from 7:15-8:30.


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