Tarrant County College Groups Build Good Will in the Community

TCC has a tradition of giving back to the community. Among many other projects and programs, last year, several groups across the District volunteered their services in area neighborhoods.
Members of North East Professional Support Staff Association (NEPSSA), a campus-based organization first established by Northeast Campus President Larry Darlage, recently spent a Sunday serving at the Neighborhood Initiative Fix It Blitz in North Richland Hills. The employee-led community effort helps those who are less fortunate with home maintenance, repairs and yard work to continue to live safely and comfortably in their homes while enhancing their neighborhoods.
“Events like the Fix It Blitz are ideal for our organization,” said Shane Whitehead, president of NEPSSA. “It gives us an opportunity to get to know each other outside of work and show our community that TCC truly cares.”
Whitehead said Darlage made it clear that NEPSSA exists to foster professional development, increase social interaction and provide community outreach. “I’m continually amazed with the kindness and generosity of our TCC family and cannot thank them enough,” says Whitehead.
Earlier last year, when most of their peers were putting up their feet during spring break, students with the Northwest Dance Club helped Trinity Habitat for Humanity restore a house in Arlington as part of the Preserve a Home Project.
Volunteers not only helped provide better housing for someone, but they also had the opportunity to learn new skills. “When we serve one another it builds us as it builds them,” said Amy Sleigh, NW associate dance professor.
Students were joined in their community service effort by other volunteers, including biology instructor Shirley Gangwere, who previously helped build new homes with Habitat for Humanity. The spring project was her first restoration project.
The Association of Construction Management Students’ club based at the South campus participates in projects during the year to build houses for underprivileged families in the Fort Worth area with Trinity Habitat for Humanity. On a recent project, club members, along with Construction Management Program Coordinator Orlando Bagcal, logged more than 50 volunteer hours.
“Students are able to demonstrate their learned knowledge and skills and experience a real world application of classroom principles,” said Bagcal. “Being active in the community creates awareness that TCC is offering such programs as Construction Management.”
During the Student Leadership Academy (SLA) orientation at the Southeast campus in the fall, more than 40 students committed to work on a Habitat for Humanity project. The group, which expanded to include volunteers from other campus organizations, worked on two Fort Worth homes.
Natalie Gamble, student development associate, said, “The students set a great example for leadership because they didn’t focus on their differences; they just saw an opportunity to give back to the community.” She believes TCC’s involvement strengthens the community and the community strengthens TCC in return.
Volunteers from the Trinity River campus participated in the Cowtown Brush Up in October. The annual event, which is one of the most successful revitalization programs in Fort Worth, represents a collaboration between the City of Fort Worth and Trinity Habitat for Humanity. Houses chosen for rehabilitation are those that are deteriorating due to the financial and physical inability of homeowners.
The Trinity River team of volunteers donated time on a cold, rainy Saturday to paint a house belonging to ImaJean Willis. Elena Walker, student development associate, says, “The volunteers were eager to work and kept a positive attitude about accomplishing our goal.” Willis said she appreciates the gift of the program and thanks the volunteers for their work on her home.
For photos of the revitalization projects, click on these links:
Cowtown Brush Up Trinity River Campus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tccphotography/sets/72157638637175206/
Fix It Blitz Northeast Campus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tccphotography/sets/72157638642205616/
Habitat for Humanity Southeast Campus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tccphotography/sets/72157638638443993/
Habitat for Humanity South Campus: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tccphotography/sets/72157638637437275/
See the Dance Club in action on this video: