Providing students opportunities to “get by giving” –
Story by Patricia Beech –
Photos by Mark Carpenter –
Students from the Ohio Valley Career and Technical Center put their commitment to community service into action on Friday, May 12 for the second annual OVCTC Community Service Day.
In partnership with the GE Test Facility in Peebles and several other organizations, the entire CTC student body spent five hours volunteering at nine different locations across the county.
The event is an outgrowth of the school’s participation in the Skills USA competition.
“It’s a great opportunity for GE and the CTC to partner and give back to the community,” said Brian Lepa, GE Aviation Peebles Test Operation Plant Leader. “We employ 375 people at the Peebles Test Facility and most are from this community, so it means a lot to them to be able to give back.”
The projects for this year’s event included: painting the shelter house at Adams Lake, preparing the community garden at Wilson’s Childrens Home, re-staining the deck and organizing the garage at the Adams County Homeless Shelter, revitalizing the landscaping at Eagle Creek Nursing Home, landscaping and fence washing at Venture Productions, putting up a new sign, replacing fencing and laying gravel at the Wilderness Trail preserve, landscaping the courthouse, filling food bags for kids in the Backpack Feeding Program, and at the fairgrounds building an ADA accessible sidewalk outside the goat barn, painting the goat barn pillars, and clearing away debris from the demolished center ring gazebo.
“The students and staff from OVCTC along with GE employees and volunteers from every site accomplished more than they set out to do today,” said Leeann Puckett, Administration Assistance/GE Peebles Volunteer Coordinator. “We’ve gone from site to site today and it’s amazing what a few people accomplished over the course of a few hours at all of these locations across the county.”
Fair Board President Liz Lafferty said, “It makes a huge difference.”
CTC Director Brian Vesey and Assistant Principal Frankie Stephens traveled to each of the work sites throughout the day delivering supplies and drinking water donated by Commac Foods to the volunteers. Vesey said the event amps up morale and camaraderie at the CTC.
“Most of the time our program instructors and our academic teachers don’t have the opportunity to work together, this is a day that allows for that. It’s all about giving back to the community and teaching our kids that giving back is a civic responsibility.”
Ohio Valley Local school board member Charlie Bess said she thinks the students are learning that they “get by giving”.
“Our community is very supportive of our students,” said Bess. “This event is a wonderful opportunity for our kids to come out and support the community in return.”
Tyler Hackney, a senior in the Information Technologies program at CTC agrees with Best. “I think this is a good deal for all of us,” said Hackney. “We go out into the community and work and people can see that we’re willing to give back in a way that helps everyone.”
Commissioner Diane Ward called the volunteers a “valuable asset”. “Community Service Day shows that we have many caring people in Adams County who are willing to help make our community the great place it is.”