When COVID-19 paused study abroad experiences, a group of Widener students decided to use the money they had raised for their travels to support the Widener Child Development Center (CDC). Members of the Class of 2021, who were part of the Presidential Service Corps / Bonner Leaders Program, recently donated $500 to the CDC, which used the funds to purchase outdoor play supplies.
Associate Dean of Students Catherine Feminella said the now-alumni turned an unfortunate situation regarding travel into a positive opportunity “to serve the local kids in our very own backyard. It was a really timely and serendipitous opportunity for students.”
The CDC was revamping their outdoor space and needed new equipment. Joseph Matassino, Widener’s director of sponsored research and foundation relations, alerted the students to the need and they jumped at the chance to help, said Feminella.
The CDC used the donation to purchase an inflatable bounce house, balls, hula hoops, and more.
“The kids are loving it, and it definitely feels like the whole yard is being utilized now,” said Essence Allen-Presley, director of the CDC. “This donation came out of the blue and we really appreciated that.”
Located on campus, the CDC provides childcare, preschool, and kindergarten services for the community. Widener students, from the education program and other academic areas, gain field experience at the center.
PSC Bonner Leaders commit to serving 250 hours of internship-level community service each year, earning an annual $5,000 scholarship in the process. They also participate in customized, experiential learning opportunities designed to make them stand out as civic leaders, social justice agents and active global citizens.
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