St. Petersburg College, Gibbs campus held ‘School, Work, Life,’ a fair dedicated to student success on January 31, 2013. More than four hundred students attended the fair, and three lucky students won a Kindle Fire HD tablet. The event introduced students to groups from the college, student organizations, and community dedicated to helping them succeed. This is just a small sample of the organizations from around the bay area that attended the event.
The college internship program explained the benefits of getting real-world experience with the bay area’s leading companies while students work in the classroom. Academic Support provided information on the free tutoring sessions available to St. Petersburg College students. SPC Corporate was there to talk about their wide range of classes, designed to bolster specific skills and help students succeed. Students also learned that the school is giving away free copies of Microsoft’s latest operating system, Windows 8, and Microsoft Office to degree-seeking students.
Student groups like Women on the Way (WoW) and Men Achieving Excellence (MAX) play a key role in helping students. As students. they know firsthand about the difficulties faced by their peers. Both organizations provide important resources to students including a textbook lending library, networking opportunities. and academic assistance. Organizations from around the Tampa Bay area were also there to tell students how they could help.
Project Grace, and Suncoast Hospice were there to talk about end-of-life planning and care. The Community Law Program was also there to educate the public on their legal rights. They provide legal assistance to the poor and disabled.
The Pinellas Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired talked about the challenges faced by the visually impaired in our community, and how their programs can help. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) booth was there to discuss their programs and support groups for the mentally ill and their families. One of the programs is their peer-to-peer classes, taught at St. Petersburg College. The class uses mentors to help persons with mental disorders develop coping strategies, and more. The representatives from Resurrection House explained how they provide a second chance to the homeless. The group provides homeless persons with the basic necessities of life while developing their life skills, with the ultimate goal of making them self-supporting.
Other tables provided opportunities for students to volunteer in the community. Like internships, volunteer service can provide practical experience to compliment classroom instruction and is valued when applying to a college or for employment. The African People’s Education and Defense Fund, a civil rights group, is seeking volunteers in disciplines from grant writing to web design. They provide free HIV testing and education along with a variety of health, education, and economic development programs. Community Action Stops Abuse sought volunteers to help stop domestic violence. They provide a crisis hotline, shelters, support groups, and educational resources. LiveFree! Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition of Pinellas County and Operation PAR is looking for volunteers for their substance abuse programs. The United Way Suncoast provides a variety of services including tax preparation help for those who make less than 57,000 dollars a year. They are looking for student volunteers to help improve life in Tampa Bay.
Student life has never been easy. As student bodies become more diverse, the challenges in their lives have too. This event connected students with people from every walk of life who are dedicated to helping them succeed.