Aug. 15, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— Twelve MALANA (Multiracial, African-American, Latino/a, Asian-American, and Native American) students who participated in the 2013 Illinois Wesleyan Summer Enrichment Program (SEP) were recognized at a graduation luncheon ceremony on Wednesday, Aug. 14 in the Joslin Atrium of Memorial Center (104 E. University Ave., Bloomington).
SEP participants along with the Illinois Wesleyan University community were asked to read Warren St. John’s “Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference” for the 2013 Summer Reading Program. This year’s SEP theme “Out of Many, ONE” was derived from the novel, and in his opening remarks, IWU President Richard F. Wilson reminded the students of a quote from the book with the philosophy, “You get more than you give,” and elaborated that the philosophy aptly reflected the SEP Program. He also thanked the participants for their work and positive representation of the University.
According to Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Co-Curricular Programming Darcy Greder, “Outcasts United” also helped the SEP participants understand the program’s theme and facilitate group discussion as well as team building activities.
Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Karla Carney-Hall addressed those in attendance as well and presented each of the participants with certificates.
Two program awards are also presented at the graduation ceremony each year to participants who have gone above and beyond expectations. Jazmyne Kellog was selected as SEP Intern of the Year and SEP President Amanda Magallon was named SEP Leader of the Summer.
The SEP students determined some awards of their own, which were presented by Magallon. They are listed as follows: Jose Landa (Most Improved in Participation); Nathalie Macias (Best Dressed Female); Jairo Rosales (Best Dressed Male and Funniest Student); Beatrice Koka and Catherine Wu (Best Roommate Pair); Munia Mustafa, Jeremiah Barnes, Genyl Rufino and Leslie Ramirez (Best Smile).
SEP is a rigorous 10-week program open to all IWU minority students that focuses on three major areas; professional, academic and personal growth of the participants. As a part of the program, the students receive formal professional training, learn from diversity workshops, have an internship and participate in volunteer activities, including a final social service project.
In selecting students to participate in SEP, Greder said IWU’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs (OMSA) looks for students who have leadership potential, have a desire to be involved in community service and students who can articulate personal and professional goals in a particular area they wish to develop.
Once accepted into the program, the students work with OMSA to identify their areas of interest and pre-professional experience to procure them a local internship. Greder said that OMSA contacts agencies and other sites in the community that need talented interns and placements are made with businesses that are committed to providing students with meaningful experiences that will challenge them. Each student that completes the summer program receives a scholarship that goes toward his or her tuition.
Over the course of the summer, SEP students volunteered with the following organizations: Westminster Village Retirement Community in Bloomington; the Midwest Food Bank in Bloomington; the Normal Chapter of MARC First: ROAM, an organization that provides aid for individuals with developmental disabilities in the community; Easter Seals: Timber Pointe Outdoor Center at a Lake Bloomington summer camp for children with developmental disabilities; Bloomington Parks and Recreation; Unity Community Center which provides youth enrichment programs in Bloomington; The Westside Revitalization Project in Bloomington for community improvement; and the McLean County chapter of Habitat For Humanity in Normal.
During a presentation on Aug. 9 titled Helping Hands: Meeting the Need, each student expanded on his or her involvement with these organizations and explained in detail the group’s projects. From their service and fellowship with the community, the students said they were able to commune deeper with the theme “Out of Many, ONE” and found daily inspiration around them. One SEP student presenter, Jonathan McBride, asked those in attendance at the presentation to inspire themselves and others to make a difference by using an example from DreamWorks Pictures’ “The Prince of Egypt.” McBride urged the audience to believe in change as the film’s character Moses did, and quoted a song verse from the movie, “Though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.”
All SEP participants are listed below with their internship placements:
For more information regarding SEP, contact the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at (309)-556-3412.
Contact: Hannah Dhue '15 (309) 556-3181, firstname.lastname@example.org