South Georgia Technical College students give back to local community each year in variety of ways
South Georgia Technical College was recently rated as the top Community College in Georgia and one of the criteria for the award was student satisfaction and student involvement. Perhaps one of the reasons for the college’s high marks in student satisfaction and student involvement is because of the students’ willingness to give back to their local or adopted community.
Each year many of the over 3,000 students on the Americus and Crisp County Center campus’ volunteer to work or raise awareness for worthwhile causes in their communities. Student organizations such as the Student Government Association, Phi Beta Lambda, National Technical Honor Society, and SkillsUSA are the catalysts for these volunteer efforts but almost every academic program group as well as the Jets and Lady Jets basketball players volunteer for or support worthy causes throughout the community.
“I am so proud and humbled by the efforts of our students, faculty, and staff, and their willingness to give back or give to others,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford. “Our faculty and staff are constantly volunteering for different projects or organizations in our community and that in turn helps our students want to get involved in worthwhile causes as well. Many of our service related programs have a formal opportunity to give back by working with children or in the hospital or nursing homes, but others go out of their way to show their generosity in different ways.”
The Business and Computer division students teamed up with the Phi Beta Lambda students to celebrate the March of Dimes Prematurity Awareness Month in November. Students dressed in purple to bring awareness for the cause and also donated their time and funds to help out.
Students, faculty, and staff all volunteered to help with the college’s “Light Up Your Future” event as a way to give back to the community during Christmas while highlighting many of the programs of study at the college. The Culinary Arts department baked cookies and prepared hot chocolate for the public at no cost. Santa was on hand for pictures and students had the opportunity to share what they learn each day.
The South Georgia Technical College Cosmetology students also volunteered to do manicures for senior citizens during the Innovative Senior Solutions 2019 Fall Festival “Dancing with the Stars” event in the SGTC gymnasium. Over 400 seniors were in attendance.
Phi Beta Lambda also spearheads annual drives to better the lives of the individuals throughout the community. Some of those drives include toys for children, trauma bears (lightly loved stuffed items), a non-perishable food drive and the March of Dimes “Drop in the Bucket” contributions.
Since its inception, the Phi Beta Lambda drives have yielded a total of 4,579 items donated to those in need during the holiday season. Each program and department area and their students are urged to give back during these special times.
Students, faculty and staff also sponsor “pink outs” to raise awareness of Breast Cancer and donated funds to the Phoebe Sumter Oncology unit to benefit individuals in this area suffering from cancer. The students held events to raise awareness for Domestic Abuse and the SGTC faculty and staff also participated in Governor Brian Deal’s efforts to provide Christmas toys for foster children in the Department of Family and Children Services program.
In addition to those types of volunteer efforts, the South Georgia Technical College License Practical Nurses and Medical Assisting students can be seen throughout the community gaining practical experience through internships or practicums at Magnolia Manor, Phoebe Sumter, and local Physician offices.
The South Georgia Technical College Early Childhood Care and Education students also volunteer in the local schools as part of their educational training and are a huge help to our area teachers and administrators.
The South Georgia Technical College Jets and Lady Jets basketball teams also appreciate the individuals who support them on the basketball court year in and year out. Both teams volunteered to read at Furlow Charter School, Southland Academy, Americus-Sumter Elementary and Schley County Elementary School each Friday prior to the basketball season.
The two team’s volunteered in the concession stand at Americus-Sumter County football games and both volunteered with the Junior Service League Cowpoke Carnival set-up. The players volunteered with the Salvation Army bell ringing and donation buckets at Walmart as well.
The Jets and Lady Jets continued to give back by volunteering at a Math Night event for Americus-Sumter Elementary school, hosted by Harvey’s Supermarket, to help students work math problems posted throughout the store.
The South Georgia Technical College Lady Jets also participated in the Wreaths Across America event by laying wreaths at the Andersonville National Cemetery during the Christmas season and they will be back in action volunteering at the Books for Sumter event later this year.
“I would venture to say that almost every club or organization in Americus and the surrounding area benefits from the generosity of South Georgia Technical College’s students, faculty, and staff,” said President Watford. “The number of hours volunteered and the amount of funds or expertise donated might be staggering. I am so proud to be associated with a college and individuals that are known for their willingness to give back to others.”