MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Each month, Newscenter 11 shines the spotlight on a volunteer who gives back to the community for our Eleven Who Care segment. This time, we're singling out not just one person, but a group of over a thousand.
Out of the classroom, and into the community. Meridian Community College faculty, staff and students spend time each year giving back to those in need.
"We are Meridian Community College, so we actually went though several locations in Lauderdale County and in the city," MCC director of campus life Marie Roberts says. "We were in places with everything from schools and city parks, to homeless shelters and the Care Lodge. You just name it, and we pretty much want to have an opportunity to be there and give back."
The college put on its third annual event last month, reaching out to 70 different locations across the area.
"It's something that's really promoted at MCC," sophomore Donnie Carroll says. "They want students to reach out and be involved."
More than 1,500 people volunteered their time this year, doing everything from helping build houses to mentoring kids.
"Students will really impress you if you give them the opportunity to do so," Roberts says.
"I think they felt like it was time for them to step up and do something outside their comfort zone, and maybe try a different way in life," sophomore Alyssa Nash says.
The students are learning real life lessons outside of campus.
"Obviously, we're here at school to learn and do these things, but we're actually trying to learn other skills by My College Cares and learn different types of leadership qualities," sophomore Jay Fritzz says.
And for many, it leaves a lasting impact.
"This has definitely taught me a lot about myself," sophomore Adam Mowdy says. "And I'm going to reach out more into the community and volunteer more."
"This year has been our best year yet, and I'm looking forward to continuing this tradition of giving our students an opportunity to learn about themselves, a service they can perform in our community, and just different ways they can continue to give back."
To nominate someone for Eleven Who Care, you can stop by our station and pick up an application or print one from the link attached to this story.