Upon arrival at Cottey College two years ago, Kalina Jurkowski became active in volunteering and community service. During her first semester, Kalina volunteered with Join in for Joplin, an AmeriCorps project, to facilitate disaster recovery to the victims of the Joplin, MO tornado. With completion of that project in the fall of 2014, Kalina became involved in the Cross Generational Sharing service-learning project through her Foundations in Leadership class in the spring of 2015. Designed to reduce the isolation and depression experienced by the elderly in senior care facilities, Kalina volunteered weekly at Moore-Few Care Center. In the fall of 2015, she earned the Community Contributor certification for 58.5 hours of community service through Missouri Campus Compact's Semester of Service program. As her Presidential Leadership project, Kalina has planned a May Day celebration for the residents of Moore-Few Care Center. She is coordinating a student-led effort to provide May Day Baskets for residents as well as recruiting student volunteers to hang baskets, lead songs and facilitate activities celebrating May Day 2016. Kalina will provide all student volunteers with sensory and mobility deprivation training prior to the May Day event to further student awareness of the challenges faced daily by seniors.
Community service is an important aspect of my life. As a volunteer kindergarten tutor, disaster relief worker, peer listener and peer tutor, I learned the value of giving my time to others. When I experienced the Cross Generational Sharing service-learning project in my Foundations of Leadership class, I knew that socialization of seniors would become a passion of mine. Through my weekly visits to Moore-Few Care Center, a skilled nursing facility, I became increasingly aware of the need for patient interaction with people other than the medical staff working at the facility. I have a personal connection to this social issue through my grandfather who resides in a senior care facility. Unfortunately, he is unhappy and lonely, just like many of those in his generation. Since I am unable to visit him on a regular basis, I felt compelled to help other seniors alleviate their feelings of isolation and depression. Therefore as a special treat in addition to our regular visits, I decided to revive a holiday practice that was common to that generation through the distribution of May Day Baskets. Also, Cottey students will assist the residents of Moore-Few celebrate spring with a variety of May Day activities.