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Morris student spends summer working for positive parenting organization

Posted by Judy Korn on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2011


Morris senior Allyce Amidon, Falcon Heights, has been spending her summer doing what she loves mostówriting. And writing, and writing, and writing. Below, Amidon tells about her positive summer experience in a question and answer session.

Q. Who are you working with this summer?

A. Iím working with the Ortonville based organization Doing Right Every Available Moment (DREAM) for Kids as a Student in Service, which is a part-time AmeriCorps program for college students. Iíve been working on publicity and marketing for the organizationís current and future programs. DREAM for Kids is a group of individuals who have a unified dream for children in the Big Stone Lake Area, a dream where all children are able to grow up in a family and a community that cares for, supports, and protects them as they grow to become healthy and productive adults.

Q. What are your responsibilities?

A. I spent the first part of the summer working on getting the DREAM for Kids website up and running. DREAM for Kids partnered with the Ortonville Early Childhood Initiative (ECI) to launch the website, and so I was very busy filling it in. The site is designed for parents to use as a resource, and includes a list of programs that the two organizations are sponsoring for kids and families. The site can be found at bigstonekids.info. Iíve been working on developing marketing tools for positive parenting, which is currently one of the main expansion focuses of the organization. It also focuses on making sure that younger kids have a positive school experience with programs like their original Lunch Buddies and Listen & Learn Buddies programs. Most recently, Iíve been researching anti-bullying programs that could be implemented in Big Stone Lake area schools.

Q. How did you learn about the DREAM for Kids position?

A. I was looking for a summer job when Jessica Beyer of the Center for Small Towns (CST) recommended the position to me. I was already doing a lot of publicity for CST, so this job seemed like a perfect fit. I worked as CSTís student administrative intern this past academic year, a position Iím returning to for my final year at Morris.

Q. How would you describe your summer experience?

A. Phenomenal. Working at CST is an absolute joy, and the Students in Service program is wonderful. Itís a chance to give back to the community in ways that they most need it, while still being able to pay the rent and buy groceries. I would definitely recommend it to others.

Students In Service is an AmeriCorps program that encourages college students to enroll as part-time AmeriCorps members. Coordinated by Minnesota Campus Compact, an organization that promotes civic engagement on college campuses in Minnesota, the program allows interested college students to work in a variety of positions to help better their communities. Qualifying activities include academic and co-curricular service learning, internships with nonprofit organizations, certain kinds of practicum hours, federal- or state-funded community service work study, and most kinds of volunteer work. Students commit to 300 hours of service throughout the year.

The Center for Small Towns is a community outreach program housed at the University of Minnesota, Morris and serves as a point-of-entry to the resources of the University. Small towns, local units of government, KĖ12 schools, nonprofit organizations, and other University units are able to utilize the Centerís resources as they work on rural issues or make contributions to rural society. Their mission is to focus the Universityís attention and marshal its resources toward assisting Minnesotaís small towns with locally identified issues by creating applied learning opportunities for faculty and students.