Twenty TMCC Veterans Help with Community Cleanup
The 11th annual Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful (KTMB) Great Community Cleanup took place on May 6, and for the second year, Truckee Meadows Community College student, staff, and alumni veterans contributed time and muscle power to the city-wide effort.
TMCC veterans chose to volunteer at a rural location, the Sun Valley off-highway vehicle (OHV) site, gateway to the off-roading area. This particular location doesn’t typically see as many Cleanup participants.
“It’s a big event, all over the city,” said Zachary Totans, Veterans Resource Center Coordinator. “Not as many people go up there to the OHV site for the event, and we wanted to make a difference. It’s not as visible to the public as volunteering at other locations, but making a difference mattered most to us.”
More than 20 from TMCC worked at the community event from 7:30 a.m. until Noon, and there were about eight volunteers that brought their pick-up trucks to help haul out trash.
“This area is one where quite a bit of illegal dumping takes place, such as water heaters and tires,” Totans said. “An RV trailer was burnt to the ground that we cleaned up. The fiberglass was scattered everywhere.”
He added that the group carried out many pick-up loads full of trash and debris. About six 30-cubic-yard large dumpsters of trash were collected from the OHV site, said Kylie Stevens, AmeriCorps VISTA, Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator, KTMB.
TMCC veteran project leads Jillian Walmsley and Reynold Wright coordinated the College’s participation in the event, attending planning meetings with KTMB staff. The two are leaders in the TMCC Veterans Leadership Academy.
James Lewis, a mentor of the TMCC Student Veteran Mentorship program participated, and brought his family along to help.
“New alumni came too, Kyle McArdle and Jeff Kern volunteered,” Totans said. “It was really fun. Some veterans that I hadn’t even met came when they found out about the Cleanup from our email list. We welcomed everyone and were appreciative for all of the help.”
Alumnus Jason Pinto Maldonado is Awarded Gilman Scholarship
Jason Maldonado’s long-time dream is to study abroad. He graduated from TMCC in May with an Associate of Arts Degree, Business Emphasis.
While a TMCC student, he worked in Access, Outreach and Recruitment, and learned about the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program from his advisors. Maldonado applied, and in May found out that he was chosen for the award.
“Jason is the first student from TMCC to be accepted for the Gilman Scholarship and will be studying this summer in Torino, Italy through the University Studies Abroad Consortium (USAC),” said Cheryl Woehr, TMCC Counseling faculty member and Gilman Scholarship Advisor.
The U.S. Department of State’s Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship is a program that provides grants to students who do not otherwise have the financial resources to take college courses abroad. The program is administered by the Institute of International Education, and it enables students to study or intern in other nations. They gain skills and build global awareness to better contribute to America’s economic and knowledge base.
“Receiving the Gilman Scholarship will have an important impact on my academic goals by preparing me for my role in an increasingly global economy and interdependent world,” Maldonado said. “This is something that I’ve wanted to do for myself as the beginning of a lifelong journey of gaining knowledge from all over the world.”
Maldonado will continue stateside in the fall at the University of Nevada, Reno as a marketing major in the College of Business.
“Being able to see and experience international marketing strategies being applied will be the ultimate learning experience,” he added.
Five students from UNR were also awarded the Scholarship, and will study in Spain, Costa Rica, Japan, China and the United Kingdom.
“We are so proud that Jason received a Gilman Scholarship,” Woehr said. “Fewer than 10 percent of U.S. students will study abroad, and only 26 percent of those students are from underrepresented groups.”
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