Community Friends is a one on one mentoring program between Middlebury College students and children in Addison County ages 5-12. Matches meet for two hours each week, and by providing this mentoring opportunity, the group hopes to foster relationships between the college and the local community.
This is my fourth year meeting with my mentee, and over the past few years we have explored Middlebury, read My Fathers Dragon and Warriors, raced fiercely in the natatorium and on the fields around campus, created half-edible Proctor creations, and spent hours drawing and painting in the various craft spaces. I have watched her grow (now taller than me) and develop into a thriving middle school student, and she has provided me with an escape from stressful schoolwork and a reminder of childhood relaxation. I love seeing other matches around campus. Mentees provoke Middlebury students to break from their college bubble, and Middlebury students serve as additional adult role models for children outside of just their parents and teachers. Community Friends provides a space for these special interactions, and has had a truly amazing impact on my own experience at Middlebury.
Charter House Coalition was founded in 2005 in response to critical food and housing needs in Addison County. Its programs have expanded quickly since then. We now have a volunteer base of over 750 community members contributing 23,000 hours of service every year.
My time at the Charter House has been one of the highlights of my Middlebury experience. The different programs they have allow for a wide range of volunteer opportunities and give volunteers the opportunity to see how different issues such as food and housing insecurity connect. This past summer I was able to work in the Charter House gardens working with community members to grow food for free community meals. During the winter I enjoy helping cook and sharing meals with those staying at the shelter that night. I always look forward to my time volunteering at the Charter because it almost always involves sitting down and sharing a meal and conversation with people. By volunteering and working with people outside of the college community I have been able to engage with issues of poverty in a way that you cannot learn in a classroom. Being able to work with people struggling with issues of homelessness and food insecurity directly, to hear their stories and to have conversation with them have been my most valuable learning experiences. There is so much Middlebury students can learn by engaging with people outside of the college community. –Kiana Cateriano ‘15.5
To learn more about volunteer opportunities, contact Kiana at firstname.lastname@example.org or Clare Donohue-Meyer at email@example.com.
See this year’s CE – related courses below. These courses incorporate partnerships with organizations and individuals from Middlebury’s surrounding community. Courses that fall under the Privilege & Poverty Academic Cluster are also listed.
Check back throughout the year, as the list will continue to be updated!
|Semester offered||Course Number||Course Name||Professor|
|Fall 2015, Spring 2016||ENVS 0112||Natural Science and the Environment||Lapin, Marc|
|Fall 2015||EDST 0305||Elementary Literacy and Social Studies||Weston, Tracy|
|Fall 2015||EDST 0410||Student Teaching Seminar||Miller-Lane, Jonathan|
|Fall 2015, Spring 2016||ECON 0155C||Introductory Microeconomics||Isham, Jon|
|Fall 2015||PSYC 0320||Social and Emotional Development||Moeller, Robert|
|Fall 2015||HARC 0731A||Architectural Studies Research Thesis||Lopez Barrera, Silvina|
|Spring 2016||HARC 0330A||Intermediate Architectural Design||Lopez Barrera, Silvina|
|Fall 2015||SOAN 0105A *||Society and the Individual||Oxfeld, Ellen|
|Fall 2015||ENVS 0380A *||Global Challenges of the 21st Century||Baker-Medard, Merrill|
|Fall 2015||RELI 0298*||Privilege & Poverty||Davis, James C.|
|* designates Privilege & Poverty Academic Cluster|
This summer we’ve welcomed two new staff members in CE – Megan Brakeley (on the right) our new Assistant Director, and Elle Bacon (on the left), our SerVermont Americorps Vista member for 2015-2016.
We’re so excited to have them both in the office!
Megan grew up in Birmingham, AL, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, PA. After graduating from Middlebury in 2006 with a degree in Spanish and a minor in Environmental Studies, she worked as a farmer and youth educator in a number of locations (Adirondacks, Oregon, Southern VT) and roles (Spanish and ES teacher, Associate Academic Dean, farm owner/operator, ski instructor). She is excited to be joining CE after earning a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where she worked on connecting youth education, food systems, water resource management, and spatial analysis.
Megan is working with CE to advise youth programs and mentoring and to manage Communications for the office. She looks forward to working with students to continue to develop youth and mentoring programs, as well as students’ own capacities to be effective and compassionate—and have fun– in the work they do!
Elle is from Wilmington, DE, but just recently followed her parents to Hartford, CT. In May of 2015, she graduated from the College of Wooster with a degree in Religious Studies, and a minor in Sociology. Her most cherished moments as a student include being an integral member of a volunteer-based intentional living community, learning to play rugby while in Scotland during the fall of 2012, and completing her senior thesis, which discusses issues around health care.
Elle is collaborating with students and the CE office to enhance already existing service-learning programs, such as Privilege & Poverty, and identifying service opportunities between students, faculty, and the community. Elle is excited to become a part of the Middlebury community and to help generate interest in issues of poverty alleviation.