Riverside College Class Comes Up Big In Community Challenge

From Paul Horn. Riverside College’s motto is “Be remarkable!” and the 2015 Community Support Worker class recently proved that they mean it. The class was challenged by their instructor to raise $400 for Mission Community Services’ homelessness programs in two hours, but, with the support of many local businesses and citizens, they managed to raise 2 1/2 times that amount.

“It’s an amazing tradition within our group,” reports Paul Horn, the CSW class instructor. “Our aim is to demonstrate to students the power of community and the power of teamwork. What makes this an even more challenging undertaking is that the students have absolutely no prior knowledge they are going to be presented with this task, and they are not allowed to use their own money. They have to quickly determine a strategy, set up team processes, and get started. There is no time for self-doubt. Spontaneously raising $1000 in 120 minutes is a remarkable achievement for them and Mission.”

Top Row: L to R: Riverside Students Tina Rutherford, Taylor Rodgers, Marcella Wright, Jessica Bowman and Brittany Pallett

Bottom Row: L to R: Riverside student Madi Henry, Rotary Volunteer John Retallick, Students Alisha Dunville and Brenda Danyliuk, MCSS Exec Director, Sanjay Gulati

“I am proud of how quickly the people of Mission were willing to jump in and contribute to their community,” says student Brittany Pallett. “Way to go Mission!” Tina Rutherford, also a student in the program, described how the course has been a life-changer for her. “The CSW course has shown me how a small group of people can make a huge difference in a community. It has been such a pleasure to be involved in the class.”

Sanjay Gulati, Executive Director of Mission Community Services says that MCSS is grateful for the funding, and for the advocacy provided by the students. “The money these students have raised will support the MY (Mission Youth) House project, a true reflection of collaboration and community program,” he said.

“From our perspective, partnering with agencies like Mission Community Services makes tremendous sense,” says Horn. “Like us, they’re passionate about Mission and dedicate a tremendous amount of energy in the pursuit of making this the best community in which to live. We strongly support their programs.”

The Community Support Worker program is one of Riverside’s ten current career and trades courses. The course prepares people to work in community living homes, mental health programs and schools.

“We’re extremely proud of the work this group and are other classes are doing this year. Riverside has been around since 2001, but we grow each year because people learn about us through accomplishments like these,” explains Principal Wade Peary. “The CSW Program – and all of our programs – are always looking for ways to partner with employers and organizations so that our students get the best possible preparation for their real careers. Many colleges spend a small fortune on marketing, and then pass those costs on to students. We would prefer to let our actions do the talking, and to keep tuitions affordable.”

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