Studer Group expects its employees to engage in community service. Thus, it is impossible for me to highlight the great things each of my colleagues is doing; however, below are examples of three different service activities by colleagues and information about how you, too, may get involved. It is followed with an example of our company’s commitment to the community. How fitting that our company’s founder, Quint Studer, reminds individuals to “never underestimate the difference you can make.”
Every Child a Reader in Escambia (ECARE) is a business-led and volunteer-driven non-profit collaborative that mobilizes community stakeholders to drive overall birth to five early learning results for children living in the attendance zone of Global Learning Academy in Pensacola, Florida. Their mission is to build a strong foundation of pre-literacy skills for students entering kindergarten ready to learn, thereby improving the long-term educational success for the children (Text from ECARE website).
Ms. Shannon Libbert, Human Resources Leader at Studer Group, is in her 5th year of mentoring Jerome who is now a middle school student. The relationship began when Jerome was in 2nd Grade and Shannon was a Reading Pal through ECARE; now Jerome is in 7th Grade and Shannon continues the mentoring relationship through the Escambia County School District’s Youth Motivator Mentoring Program. In reflecting on her time with Jerome, Shannon shares, “That relationship has changed my life.” In addition to being a volunteer mentor through the school district, Shannon continues her work with ECARE as a member of the board.
What Can You Do? ECARE is seeking Reading Pal volunteers interested in working with pre-kindergarten students at Head Start’s Gibson Center in downtown Pensacola. A commitment of 45 minutes one school day per week for the remainder of the school year is requested. Due to the classroom schedules, volunteers need to work between 9:30 am and 11:30 am. Volunteers may change volunteer time or day when necessary and may work in teams of two if desired. A successful background check including a Level II security screening is required of all volunteers. If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering, please contact Ashley Bodmer at 433-6893 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit ECARE at http://www.escambiareads.org or Volunteer Match or Facebook.
Rescued Rescuers is “another wonderful Emerald Coast rescue organization” commented one person after reading the Northwest Florida Daily News online coverage of the recent rescue Adopt-a-thon (read article here). The organization “takes in dachshunds from all over the Emerald Coast. Most of them were facing euthanasia at shelters because of their medical problems or simply a lack of space… The rescue currently is caring for about 25 dachshunds” (Delgado).
Ms. Katie Tener, Business Manager of Studer Group’s Education Division, has been a rescuer for 11 years. It all began when a golden retriever and a chow “found” her family. At that time neither she and her daughter nor her parents owned dogs, and according to Katie there were not a lot of rescue options in Pensacola. She and her Mom worked through P.A.W.S. in Fort Walton Beach and the Emerald Coast Golden Retriever Rescue to rescue both dogs. Today she describes her work and that of Rescued Rescuers as “want[ing] the unwanted… We make them all better and shine them up. Sometimes they just need someone to scratch their ear and put the pieces back together… You do it for the love of the dog.”
What Can You Do? Get involved! Become a foster parent to a furry friend, volunteer, adopt a pet, or support the organization with monetary donations that go straight to care for the pets. To learn more visited Rescued Rescuers online at www.werescuedogs.org or visit its Facebook page.
Bowl for the Cure raises money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation which focuses on raising awareness and funding for breast cancer research. According to the Greater Pensacola US Bowling Congress Association the local Bowl for the Cure event raised $3,200 in 2012; the goal this year is $4,000 (website).
Ms. Candace Edwards, accountant in Studer Group’s Fire Starter Publishing Division lead the Bowl for the Cure initiative as one of the company’s January community service activities. Not surprising to this colleague, Candace bowls in the “Thursday Night Fun Bunch” league where she was connected with the opportunity to find participation for Bowl for the Cure. She states, “I love to bowl and it is even more fun when you can raise money for such a great cause.” Thanks to Candace’s lead Studer Group employees, family members, and friends produced four teams and raised over $500 for the Cure!
What Can You Do? Participate in an event! The following text is from the North Florida Susan G. Komen for the Cure® website: Whether you are a golfer, a bowler, a chef or a runner, you can contribute to the fight against breast cancer 365 days a year. By participating in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® or another Komen event, you become part of a grassroots network that has changed the way the world talks about and treats breast cancer. You can make a difference as you celebrate survivorship, honor those who have lost their battle, and most importantly, raise funds and awareness for the fight against this life-threatening disease. There are many different ways to support Komen’s mission (Text from North Florida website).
Company Commitment. For an hour on Wednesday morning our company celebrated its wins and recognized first quarter Pillar Award winners and tenure anniversaries. The COO also provided a follow-up on the annual awards presented at the holiday party where two individuals were randomly presented with cash amounts to donate to a charity because of their commitment through the year to “Make a Difference in the Community.” The selection was drawn from a larger list of colleagues who led a “Community Volunteer Cause” or a “Casual Day for a Cause” during the year – 31 colleagues fundraising for 26 different organizations/causes. A third individual was also selected because his/her Bright Idea contributed the most cost savings to the company. The following organizations benefited from our company’s commitment to the community through recognition of Lauren, Allee’, and Amanda’s commitment to service.
Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Likewise, our mission at Studer Group to make healthcare a better place for employees to work, physicians to practice medicine and patients to receive care. These three colleagues are representative of all Studer Group employees across the country and provide examples of why Studer Group is a great place to work – an experience my colleagues and I recognize and celebrate daily in working for a company ranked for the fifth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and which was a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.
Is your school or are students in your classroom connecting with the community? We would love to highlight what you’re doing right in education. Contact the blog’s author at Julie.Kunselman@StuderEducation.com.