Graduate Student Day of Caring

On October 9, 2013 by Grad Forum
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Rebekah Guevara, Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB), and Emily Schaeffer, Program in Experimental and Molecular Medicine (PEMM), assess the amount of trash removed from the banks of the Connecticut River.

On Saturday, October 5, graduate students performed community service with at least 250 Upper Valley community members for the Granite United Way’s Day of Caring. Recruited by the Graduate Relief Team, these graduate students had the opportunity to volunteer with the Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 17th Annual Source to Sea Cleanup.

To kick off the four-hour Day of Caring, community members congregated in Collis Center and listened to talks from various Dartmouth leaders, such as the Student Director of the Tucker Foundation, Pedro Hurtado Ortiz ’14, and President Hanlon. Volunteers joined with several Upper Valley organizations, such as the Upper Valley Haven, the Upper Valley Humane Society, the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, and the Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC).

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Marie Onakomaiya (PEMM) and Angelyca Jackson (MCB), talk with Ron Rhodes, the North Country River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council.

Starting at the Ledyard Canoe Club, the graduate team took to the banks of the Connecticut River as a part of the massive watershed cleanup program that spans Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. The team was instructed by Ron Rhodes, an avid outdoorsman and fisherman, who left a career in politics to join CRWC as the North Country River Steward. With garbage bags in tow and gloves on their hands, graduate students faced precipitous banks, thick grass cover, and tangled brush in trying to remove garbage from the riverbanks. Their efforts in the Source to Sea Cleanup yielded a wide array of trash—each  student returned from the day with several pounds of garbage.

Molecular and Cellular Biology (MCB) first-year graduate student David Strickland explained, “I chose to volunteer at the Day of Caring for a chance to help my new home in a small way. The best way to join a community is to serve it.”

The efforts of these 16 graduate students were a small part of the over 1500 people who participated in the Day of Caring events going on throughout the state of New Hampshire and Vermont. To help support the United Way, Dartmouth College has set goals to raise $300,000 and to add 100 new volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering your time, there are a variety of public service organizations on campus, such as the Graduate Relief Team and the William Jewett Tucker Foundation. Individual organizations may also be contacted for volunteer opportunities.

by Daniel Osipovitch

 

 

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