It is a privilege to be working this year with Gena Glover, Associate Director of Community Engagement at Heartland College and the liaison for the Community Service Day project. As her title suggests, Gena’s responsibilities center around connecting Heartland Community College with the community and vice versa. She does this by reaching out to alumni, opening Heartland’s campus as an accessible rental space for the community, and being a part of the committee for the annual commencement. She also helps students and faculty get in touch with community business owners and organizations; this allows for community members to support the students who can then give back to the community when they step out into the workforce. This aspect of connection and engagement, along with her passion for joining non-profit organizations with higher education, is what originally drew Gena to the position.
Heartland’s Community Service Day is right up her alley as the school is moving towards a campus-wide focus on community service. The school’s goal for this project is to build relationships between them and Bloomington-Normal, specifically non-profits, and most importantly to promote giving back to the area. One way they are already reaching out to the community is by working with one of MCLP’s teams in the creation of the Community Service Day. Gena knew about MCLP because she has worked with teams from previous years in her other positions and many of her coworkers are MCLP graduates themselves.
Gena wanted to work with MCLP again, specifically for this project, because she has seen the benefit of working with them first hand and she wanted the different perspectives from the community that an MCLP team would bring. This way Heartland will be able to serve the community by first learning from its residents. The MCLP team has certainly been bringing their perspectives and input into the project, spanning from ways to accomplish their goals to non-profits they can partner with. Gena and her team are excited to be working with the MCLP team, and we are excited to see what they will come up with.
Mark your calendars for Midterm Presentations at the Illinois State Alumni Center, December 12, from 5:00-6:30 pm.