Raymond Stevens, a second year, dual-program student at Western Technical College, is a community engaged leader active in addressing issues of food insecurity and affordable housing. During the last academic year, Ray dedicated more than 100 hours of his time to his community. He is currently serving two days a week at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore but has future ideas of how to help college students become more resilient. Western has witnessed his dedication in the classroom and the community. He is a humble man who seeks very little recognition for the work he does. Rather, he uses every step to better himself; steps that also have a significant impact on our community.
My wife and I started volunteering to feed the homeless at a church. When I started classes at Western, we were asked to serve five hours and could do another ten as extra credit. My first activity was participating in a tri-college day of service where I worked alongside others at a community garden where all the food that was harvested that day went to the Salvation Army. Next, I started volunteering at Western's food pantry after taking a tour which peaked my interest, plus knowing how hard it would be for students first starting college to have enough money to go to school fulltime and afford living expenses. This lead me to volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to help with affordable housing. I know first-hand how a young family, first starting out, can have a hard time to afford safe housing. All of this volunteering would qualified me for the President's Volunteer Service Award, 100 hours in less than 12 months. Throughout my service journey, I have learned that volunteering gives me the mental breaks I need from school, keeps my sanity, and makes me feel like I am doing something for a much bigger purpose.