Few things foster deep emotional bonding like hard physical labor for a good cause.
Such was the lesson learned by 22 students from Centralia, Rochester, Toledo, and W.F. West high schools during Centralia College’s TRiO Upward Bound summer program June 23-Aug. 1.
For the first time in the program’s history, community service projects were included in the itinerary of career and college prep programs. Service projects were completed in each of the four represented communities and the students worked together to identify and complete each task.
- In Toledo, the Upward Bound students cleaned the high school baseball field concession stand and bathrooms, edged the field, picked up trash, and cleared debris from the tennis courts.
- In Rochester, they helped overhaul the community gardens at the ROOF Food Bank/Kids Place and transplanted trees.
- In Centralia, they worked with the city to pick up trash and paint over graffiti on the Gold Street viaduct.
- In Chehalis, they removed 14 bags of weeds from the rose beds along 13th Street.
“The service projects allowed students from different schools a chance to really get to know each other,” said Program Specialist Caytee Cline. “More importantly, they are now invested in each other’s communities, friendships are forming, and walls are coming down like never before.”
Over the six-week summer program, the students also received assistance with college applications, toured colleges around the state, and attended cultural events, all at no cost to them or their families. They also received extra instruction in English, math, science and foreign languages, and explored different careers.
TRiO, a national program in its 50th year, has a variety of programs that support low-income and first-generation college students. For more information about TRiO programs, visit www.centralia.edu/students/trio or contact Lisa Preslan at 360-736-9391, ext. 223.