Second semester is a busy time for Community Engagement Programs and Partnerships (CEPP) at Milton, with plenty of opportunities for students to get involved and give back.
Already, students volunteered to help run the Special Olympics basketball tournament with 15 teams, including the Milton-Quincy team, whom Milton students coach throughout the year. It was a successful, fun event, says CEPP director Andrea Geyling-Moore. The Special Olympics and other relationship-building volunteer programs through CEPP help students move beyond the concept of one-way service into something more meaningful, she says.
“The students on our board are really owning the idea of partnership,” she said. “They understand that it’s a two-way process of learning and engagement with the community.”
In February, CEPP volunteers hosted children from the Brookview House on campus. Brookview, a Boston shelter for women and children dealing with homelessness, is a regular volunteer site. During the public school February vacation, some of the residents came to Milton to eat lunch, play basketball, and conduct fun science experiments—including building and launching their own rockets—in the Pritzker Science Center. Milton students have expanded coding instruction for Brookview residents, beginning with programming for simple games.
Students have also shown initiative in planning engagement efforts. Day monitors Zaki Alaoui ’20 and Abby Hanly ’20 organized a Sunday afternoon visit to Atria Marina Place, an assisted living facility, as a unifying opportunity for day students. Zaki hopes it can become a regular program.
“We wanted to give back to a place that wanted help and was accessible to a lot of local students,” he said. “It was really great to hang out with the residents and hear their stories. We’d like to repeat the trip so we can continue building relationships with the home and make this an event we can pass along to the next day monitors.”