Students With A Vision in Washington D.C.
Three staff members and seven executive board members from St. John Fisher College’s Students With A Vision (SWAV) club traveled to Washington, D.C. over the break to spread their love of community service. The group spent January 6-8 in our nation’s capital, connected with Washington alums at their workplaces, and assisted in completing many much-needed tasks while in the city.
The team spent two days working at Wheatley Education Campus, an intercity elementary/middle school where Kristin Fiorini ’08 is a special education teacher. At Wheatley, 98 percent of the student population is below the poverty level. The principal had a wish-list of items for the team to do, which included leveling books, sorting and stacking books, sketching and painting a 20-foot mural, and clearing the unsafe railroad ties from the playground. In addition, the student team members met with seventh and eighth graders and spoke of the importance of staying in school and going to college.
The group also volunteered at a food pantry called the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), where they assisted patrons in selecting food, along with sorting, packing, and stocking food. Charlie Meng ’74 is the CEO of the center, and having lost connection with Fisher over the past 35 years, was very impressed by the students and their commitment to others. He did a lot of community service while he was a student at Fisher, and recognized that the “goodness” of the Fisher motto is still very present here.
The team put in long days, mixing in a White House and U.S. Capitol tour, courtesy of Louise Slaughter’s office. They also enjoyed dinner at 2006 alum Heather Schoff’s house, a get-together with other Fisher alums living in the DC area, a discussion with George Washington University students and tour of their campus, and lastly, an evening walking tour of Georgetown, Georgetown University, and the Washington monuments.
The trip was coordinated by Fisher’s Community Service Office.