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Students doing more than homework

By: Thelma Scott-Skillman, President, Folsom Lake College
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As President of Folsom Lake College, I sometimes wish I could shout to the world how proud I am of what our students are doing. Our students are not only working hard in the classroom at achieving their academic goals, but they are also involved outside the classroom in countless ways. So many stories quietly pass by and the community isn’t aware of what our students are doing. I want to share a few of those stories with you. Communication Associate Professor Mary Wall had one of her classes work on community service projects in the fall. Those projects included: · One group became responsible for decorating a retirement home; they put up and decorated trees, strung lights in the common area, had a preschool make cards for the residents, and made Christmas treats for the employees of the home. · A canned food drive for the El Dorado Food Bank. · A fundraiser for the Marshall Hospital Pediatric hospital wing collected over $300. · Students served meals to 600 guests at Green Valley Community Church and raised $258 to be put toward their food closet. · Working with the EDC Student Activities Committee, students supported a blood drive that collected 32 units of blood. · Five students worked a total of 15 hours (3 hours each) at the Folsom Hospice Store to sort, hang, stock, clean and work as a cashier.  These students did all this during the last five weeks of the semester. We can all be very proud of them. On Jan. 17, for the first time ever, a group of Folsom Lake College students and faculty attended National Portfolio Day at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. This is a unique opportunity for those who wish to pursue an education in the visual and related arts to meet with and show their portfolios to representatives from colleges in this field. Thirty-five art colleges from around the US and Canada reviewed and evaluated portfolios. Seven FLC art students attended and had the opportunity to have their work reviewed by the best of the best. Don’t be surprised if these FLC students become well-known artists one day. In February, 24 math, science, and engineering students enjoyed a rare opportunity to visit the Folsom headquarters of Cal-ISO, the electricity traffic controller for 75 percent of California that directs 200 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually to utilities that serve an estimated 30 million Californians. Students met with their top officials, including the organization’s senior human resources recruiter and executive director of human resources. FLC students made quite an impression on Cal-ISO: they represented the college in a very favorable fashion. Cal-ISO was very interested in partnering with the college to provide internships and guest lecturers. The students were given tours and learned about the benefits of an association with Cal-ISO — this brought home the reality to our students that they could actually have a career at Cal-ISO, especially after meeting one-on-one with engineers and seeing the facility’s control room. Also in February, working in collaboration with the Internal Revenue Service, students from Folsom Lake College’s Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) program offered free income tax preparation assistance to the community, focusing on low to moderate income taxpayers. IRS-certified SIFE students prepared forms and filed federal and California taxes electronically. The students will offer this free service again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 11 in Aspen Hall room FL1-8 on the college’s main Folsom campus. All of this is happening outside the classroom. These students are seizing opportunities for their future, getting involved in their communities, and discovering that their interests can become real careers. I want to invite all our communities to see some of our students’ best work on display this April 20-24 during Earth Week celebrations. The college has a very active and creative Eco Club that will offer a wide variety of events, lectures, films, and more during Earth Week. Please visit www.flc.losrios.edu for the latest information on college events. While you’re there, check out one of the new features on our Web site as well as profiles of our grads and faculty. You’ll learn more about their stories. I think you’ll see why I’m so excited and proud of our students – you’ll be proud of them, too.