Denison University’s 178th Commencement took place on Saturday, May 18. Watch the ceremony in its entirety including commencement keynote speaker Jennifer Garner ’94.
Over the past year, Denison Venture Philanthropy (DVP), a student organization, partnered with C-Tec to provide education and professional advancement skills for refugees in Licking County. Each year, DVP evaluates proposals from nonprofit organizations in the Licking County region and awards a grant of $10,000, as well as 200 hours of volunteer work.
This year, after evaluating proposals in the fall semester, DVP selected the Career and Technology Center of Licking County (C-Tec) to award the grant. C-Tec’s mission is: “To promote workforce development by offering leading-edge educational programs that provide all learners academic and technical skills needed for career opportunities and continuous learning.”
The $10,000 grant provided textbooks and other education materials. C-Tec has both high school programs as well as adult programs at their facility. This semester, DVP primarily worked in the Adult Education Center with refugees from East Asia who are learning English as a second language, as well as adults earning their GED. The Denison students worked one-on-one with the adults at C-Tec, helping them primarily with English language exercises. The students were able to help these adults build confidence in communication skills, giving them skills to better integrate into the workforce.
The president of DVP, Wyatt Ashby, shares her experience with a student at C-Tec. “A few weeks ago, I worked with a 20-year-old student. Since we are about the same age, it was really easy to relate to her and I ended up learning a lot about her life and experiences. She is working to get her GED and has a young son at home. She is really intelligent but has been struggling to keep up with studying because of her son and a full-time job. I really enjoyed working with her and hopefully get to help her more in the future!”
This year was a great opportunity for DVP members to develop leadership skills and expand their network with professionals in the Licking County community.