What happens when you are required to do 40 hours of service learning to complete your practicum course and your college and community are locked down for Covid? You get creative! That is just what MPTC Medical Office student Emma Zimmerman did this spring. Emma looked on the MPTC online volunteer system to see what safe volunteer from home opportunities there might be. She found creating cards for seniors at the Cedar Community and Gardens of Hartford through the Washington County Volunteers posting and got started on her project!

Emma reflected, “MPTC has offered me the ability to give back to the community for the experiences I have gained through going to college. However, due to COVID-19, my community service is different from what others have experienced face to face. Nonetheless, it has enhanced both my career and the care I have for the communities I’m around.”

“For my service learning, I wrote cards for the Cedar Community in West Bend and became a part of the Pen Pal program for The Gardens of Hartford. Each card had a unique quote and message from me personally. I also included adorable stickers and drawings. Because of this, I believe I provided a therapeutic effect on the community. Due to COVID-19, many seniors are separated from their family and friends. Their loneliness can negatively effect their health and can cause a pessimistic view on their life and the current situation.”

By writing inspirational messages to the seniors of the Cedar Community and The Gardens of Hartford, I was able to provide much needed happiness for those in need. While I might not have cured their loneliness, I hopefully gave someone a smile or reminded them that they are not alone. My community service may not have been the most exciting. However, I believe I provided an important service by interacting with people who may have needed it the most. I believe it strengthened my communication abilities and allowed me to impact the community in a way I was unable to before.”

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Emma is planning to complete her practicum this spring and graduate to go out to work in her community as a Medical Office Specialist. She has also earned the Bronze Student Community Impact Award for serving 25-49 hours. Way to go Emma!


Written by Anne Lemke
Student Community Impact Coordinator