September 24, 2022
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PwC Scholars complete two community service projects

PwC Scholars install a mosaic at the American Civic Association in Binghamton PwC Scholars install a mosaic at the American Civic Association in Binghamton
PwC Scholars install a mosaic at the American Civic Association in Binghamton

Throughout the 2020-21 academic school year, the PwC Scholars have worked to foster connections between students while remaining accessible to those who were learning virtually. In the fall semester, the Scholars implemented a wide variety of virtual and hybrid activities in an effort to allow those involved in the program to take part in unique networking opportunities while remaining socially distant.

During the spring semester, scholars started to implement a greater number of in-person activities and social events. The first Freshman Fundraiser was rescheduled for March, with students Daniel Croce and Alice Kim co-chairing a cupcake decorating contest to raise money for the 2020-21 community service projects. Over $100 was raised to help cover the cost of the projects, and it kickstarted the planning of more in-person events for the semester.

Abby Sneddon, social vice president, planned a number of hybrid events that allowed students to attend virtually and in-person. Events such as a paint night, hybrid yoga, and a murder mystery game brought a sense of normalcy, while allowing new Scholars to experience their first in-person social event in the program.

Moving forward, the PwC Scholars program will continue to plan events around pandemic restrictions and guidelines. While it was certainly a challenging year, the Scholars were able to use the opportunity to come up with innovative solutions to continue moving the program forward.

Community service projects

Due to COVID-related shutdowns in Spring 2020, the PwC Scholars were unable to finish the community project they started with the American Civic Association in Binghamton during the last school year. The Scholars worked hard to complete that project this year, as well as begin a new community service project with Gigi’s Playhouse, a center focused on providing programming and support to individuals with Down Syndrome, as well as their families.

Completing the project was a heavy lift, with renovations needing to be contracted out, professional and personal development programs needing to be established, and mosaics needing to be assembled and installed at both locations. Executive board members Savanna Russiello-Tous and Mark Stein worked to get as many Scholars involved in the project as possible. Shifts were scheduled throughout the course of the semester that allowed students to work on specific tasks in-person, giving each student at least four hours of community service time. This allowed students to see the impact they were making on both the program and the community service partners, fostering a greater connection with the Binghamton community.

The culmination of this work resulted in multiple community service weekends. The American Civic Association mosaic was installed in mid-April, and the Gigi’s Playhouse mosaic was installed in early May. This short turnaround between projects was only possible because of the countless hours being put in by project leaders and dedicated students within the program. Overall, the 2020-21 community service projects were incredibly successful, with work already underway to prepare for the 2021-22 project.

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