- by Mount Saint Mary College
Freshmen volunteers from Mount Saint Mary College harvested vegetables and other goodies on Saturday, August 19.

Incoming Mount Saint Mary College freshmen got an early start to serving the local community on Saturday, August 19.

More than 50 students from the college’s Knight Summer Connections program volunteered at four locations.

At a Habitat for Humanity of Greater Newburgh build site, the incoming Mount freshmen rolled up their sleeves, put on their work gloves, and pulled dozens of weeds from the yard of a home on Johnston Street. It’s estimated that the home will be ready for its new owners in approximately a month.

Students who volunteered at the Sanctuary Healing Gardens harvested produce while discussing the importance of good community nutrition with volunteer Betty Bastions. Bastions is a member of the “Newburgh Wants a Park” campaign, which aims to turn the gardens and the adjacent Crystal Lake into a public park and nature preserve.

At the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, the students got local children excited about academics at the Armory’s ongoing Saturday morning enrichment programs. Meanwhile, the last group of new Mount students helped to pack and organize donations at the Deacon Jack Seymour Food Pantry.

The college’s Knight Summer Connections program helps new students transition smoothly from high school to college. Participants in the fields of Nursing, Natural Sciences, and the Humanities get a head start on their academics with Mount professors and staff as their mentors.

The incoming freshmen began the program on Sunday, August 13 and will complete a 3-credit course, “Mount 101: Strategies for College Success,” by the start of the college’s Fall 2023 semester on Monday, August 28. 

In addition to the day of service, the students are learning about important resources, meeting faculty and staff from all across campus, challenging themselves on a ropes course, and taking part in a service activity.

This year’s Knight Summer Connections program is being overseen by Christina Alvey, associate professor of Mathematics; Linda Kelly, associate professor of Nursing; Mark Lewin, instructor of History; and co-coordinators Rob Wakeman, associate professor of English, and Brianne Thompson, interim director of the college’s Office of Student Success.


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