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Education Service Leader - Jackson College
Jackson College engages student volunteers in research about local history, including past U.S. military personnel through the Heritage Center. For the past 10 years, under the leadership of Professor Diana Agy, Heritage Center volunteers have worked with museums, local historians and artists to create a greater sense of belonging amongst community members. . Since 2007, students have spent over 18,000 volunteer hours collecting over 100 oral stories, renovating a museum, making four documentary films and constructing two genealogy quilts, all for sharing lost stories. One of their most significant accomplishments was telling the story of an alumni, Zenneth Arthur Pond, who went missing while serving in World War II. They’ve also developed a new Heritage Center space, where locals and former military members have the opportunity to share their stories with the community. But beyond the service they provided, the experience had an incredible impact on the students who volunteered. As Barb Markowski, a local business owner noted, “Paramount is the transformation of these shy, often overlooked students. They blossomed into confident young adults with a fabulous work ethic, an understanding of the value in preserving our past, the pride of a job magnificently done.” Furthermore, Jason H. Valente president of Jackson College Foundation said of the experience: “Our students did this work without any expectation of reciprocity. They are in the business of making the invisible visible.”