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When Caleb Tuttle ’26 went to this year’s Elmira College Engagement Fair, his plan was to speak to all of the representatives and learn about each of their organizations.
This year, about 44 organizations representing a wide range of services attended the annual event. There were organizations focused on health, child care, animal care, services for people with special needs, and more. The aim of the event, which is organized by the Office of Career Services, is to connect students with area non-profit organizations. Students at Elmira College are required to complete community service hours as well as an internship prior to graduation.
Tuttle did not want to pass up an opportunity to connect with people from the Elmira community. “I believe in exploring all of my options,” he said. “I’m definitely looking to engage in one or more opportunities.”
Tuttle is switching to an Education major and is interested in joining a youth mentoring program. For him, volunteering isn’t just a requirement or a resume builder, he enjoys helping people. He likes the idea of giving kids guidance and ultimately hopes to be an athletic coach.
One of the representatives Tuttle spoke to was Cari Stage, Director of Youth Mentoring and Empowerment Services, Family Services Society, Inc. Stage shared information about the Youth Mentoring of the Southern Tier program.
“We’re looking for mentors in Elmira,” she said. About halfway through the Engagement Fair, she had a couple of strong leads.
Morgan Westbrook, Cattery Care Specialist for the Animal Care Sanctuary brought a kitten, “Elliot,” with her to attract more attention. The tactic worked as students were often seen petting and holding Elliot.*
“I’m hoping this event helps with attracting volunteers,” she said. “The Animal Care Sanctuary is out in the middle of nowhere so this helps us raise awareness about what we do.”
Jasmine Johnson ’26 was among the students who held Elliot. She is a Pre-Veterinary Science and Biology major and wants to volunteer and find internships that will broaden her skill sets. After Elmira College, Johnson hopes to attend Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and the competition for the program is steep.
“To get an advantage when applying you have to go above and beyond,” she said.
“The experiences Caleb and Jasmine had at the Engagement Fair are exactly what we want to accomplish by bringing these organizations to the College,” said Melanie Moon, Elmira College Career Services & Community Engagement Coordinator. “The more we can partner with the local community, the more we can help our students build the skills that will help them succeed in the professional world. We are always looking to expand our network and encourage local non-profits to share events and opportunities with us.”
*For Elliot, the event was a great success. He found a "forever" home with an employee from Elmira College.