For students attending Meridian Technology Center, the last two years haven’t just been about what they get from coming to class. It’s also been about what they give.
As part of the school’s Citizenship-Ready endorsement, students at Meridian have an opportunity to be recognized for their contributions to the community. During their time at Tech, over 80 students documented more than 3,800 community service hours.
“When students attend Meridian, we want to help them be prepared for life,” said Jeanie Zagar, Executive Director, Career Planning/Career Development. “We focus on the academic success that will prepare them to enter the workforce or college through Career-Ready and College-Ready Credentials, and we also emphasize the difference they can make in the community through service.”
Stillwater graduate Madeline Condit is one of the students who received the Citizenship-Ready endorsement this year. During her time at Tech, she documented 65 hours of service as a volunteer with Oklahomans Without Limits, a summer camp for blind and visually impaired students. Condit and other volunteers are paired with a camper and work alongside them to help navigate a variety of indoor and outdoor activities based on the camp’s theme for the year.
Condit’s brother is visually impaired, so she has a special connection to the camp and its mission.
“This camp allows kids just to be kids,” she said. “For a week each summer, they get to do things they may not normally have a chance to experience. It’s nice getting to help others, but it’s especially nice to help kids who might be constantly told there are things they ‘can’t’ do.”
In addition to her summer camp experience, Condit gives back to her community through community service projects associated with the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic youth service organization that promotes leadership training through service.
“Volunteerism is something that everyone in my family believes in,” she said. “My mom really instilled in us that we all have some skill or talent that we can use to serve others.”
Some of the agencies that have benefited from Meridian student volunteers include Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, The Salvation Army, Turning Point Ranch and the Oklahoma Blood Institute.