Community-Based Learning

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Nov 22, 2011 by Kim Fielding

Hi, everyone!

I hope that October was a good month for everyone. I know that for Womanshelter/Compañeras it was an especially good one because October is NATIONAL DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AWARENESS MONTH!! There were a lot of events happening and our Community Outreach Coordinator, Carmen Nieves, was particularly busy speaking at places such as high schools and libraries to the local community. The event that I was lucky enough to accompany Carmen on her presentation called, “Sometimes Love Hurts, A Talk for Teens About Healthy Dating Relationships.” This talk was held at the Chicopee Public Library and was primarily aimed at high school students. Carmen focused on what makes a healthy relationship and what are the warning signs for an unhealthy relationship. 

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The Power of Words

Nov 14, 2011 by Elizabeth J Laguerre

Throughout the month of October, I was busy booking interviews for the Black/Land Project with prominent figures in the black community that could share their stories of relationship to land and place in order to carry out Black/Land's mission of identifying and amplifying conversations happening inside black communities in order to share their powerful traditions of resourcefulness and resilience. Many of the people that I contacted were powerful examples of how important it is to use ourselves to be agents of social change, but also are strong exhibitors of the difference it makes when we use our voices to highlight issues affecting the black community.

Read more for highlights of women's voices.

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Creating videos!

Nov 13, 2011 by Sophia A Hadingham

This week I have not only been helping the class create their own videos about the drop out crisis, but I have also been making my own video for Holyoke Bound, as well as assisting Rogelio with his own video about the class's experience. I think creating videos, especially digital stories, is ideal work for the CBL program because it encapsulates many of its philosophies when engaging with communities. In particular, the idea of leaving something tangible behind when working within a community is a vital part of the CBL ethic and perhaps nothing can be more visually representative of your work than video documentation. For that reason, I really enjoy creating videos for CBL and hope that all forms of media can be integrated as tools into community-based work. The purpose of a program like the Latino Youth Media Institute is to empower young people to claim video as a media form as their own to show a side of their story which is usually monopolized by the mainstream. I think it's incredibly empowering to have a program which promotes video production and storytelling as accessible and not just the domain of elite professionals. I would love to continue studying and working with video and digital storytelling and their impact upon communities and the education of young people.

 Sophie Hadingham 2013

 CBL Mentor

 SPAN 350/Latino Youth Media Istitute Springfield


Girls, Inc. October - November

Nov 12, 2011 by Gwendolyn Coiley

Working at Girls, Inc. has been amazingly rewarding. I enjoy every moment while I'm there and always leave feeling like my time there is useful and appreciated. I learn a lot from the girls and also from the staff there - it is a way different environment than most after-school programs and I really like the flexibility and creativity they are able to offer. [Read More]

The Enchanted Forest - Hitchcock Center for the Environment

Nov 12, 2011 by Diana Ngai

  Halloween at the Hitchcock Center is less about goodies and ghouls and more about environmental adventures. Every year Hitchcock Center holds an event called “The Enchanted Forest,” a themed non-scary Halloween event complete with an educational walk-through-the-forest on jack-o-lantern lit trails. This year’s theme was “The Forest That Stinks.” Sounds pretty terrible, huh? It was actually completely awesome. The walk and events were focused on stinky things or things that used their sense of smell. Situated along the walk were stations were kids and adults could learn more about the forest that stinks: a skunk cabbage, a stink bug, skunks, a turkey vulture, a ladybug and a comical coyote and dog. Don’t tell the kids but- These forest friends were actually community members and Hitchcock staff decked out in full costumes complete with theatrical accents. 
There was also an indoor craft area that continued the theme, such as “Match the Noses to the Animals,” “Make-your-own Skunk Tail,” “Animal Trivia, “Guess That Smell” (scents like spearmint and vanilla,) and served fresh made popcorn and hot cider.   [Read More]

Hip Hop Evolution

Nov 10, 2011 by Alan Bloomgarden

Come to Hip Hop Evolution 6-9:30pm Friday November 18th at the William R.
Peck School in Holyoke.  Free bus transportation to and from MHC, free
dinner, great community performances![Read More]

CHOICES:Hopes and Aspirations By, Kristina Bolton '12' and Sabina Dhakal '12'

Nov 09, 2011 by Sabina Dhakal

Officially on the road! [Read More]

LEAD Program Grantee's Book Signing

Nov 09, 2011 by Quanita Hailey






We at the LEAD program are proud to promote Teri O' Shea, published author of Jonestown Lullaby. Teri O' Shea was a participant of the Career Initiatives program for 2010-2011. This program allows for individuals that have experienced traumatic circumstances in life to pursue their dreams through the use of grant funding.

Teri O' Shea not only made her dream a reality, but she utilized the trauma experienced as a catalyst to fulfill those dreams.  At age nineteen, author Teri O'Shea joined Peoples Temple in California
led by Jim Jones. A member for seven years, she escaped Peoples Temple
three weeks before the massacre in Jonestown, Guyana. The raw and
powerful poems in Jonestown Lullaby explore her experience in Jonestown
and the aftermath of her survival.

A personal confidant to Jim Jones for
seven years, O'Shea writes about the harrowing nightmare of Jonestown
with an intensity and passion seldom captured in poetic form. Teri was
the last person to escape Peoples' Temple before the massacre in
Jonestown; now, she turns to writing to help find her way back to a more
peaceful life. Jonestown Lullaby records her voyage, with vivid, stark
images of the bewildering world that was Jonestown and the pathological
madness of Jim Jones. Teri includes photographs of some of the Peoples
Temple members who lived and lost their lives there; revealing an aspect
of Jonestown rarely seen. This is her tribute to those who died so
tragically. "I Write I write from the poor side of silence."*(Book Description).

Please Join us November, 14th at the Forbes Library in Northampton at 7:00pm for her book signing.



Gardening the Community

Nov 02, 2011 by Julianna Lord

Julianna Lord (2013)

Economics major

October has been another exciting, busy month with Gardening
the Community (GtC). Mount Holyoke and UMASS volunteers came to Springfield one
dizzily Saturday to help us prepare for winter by closing down garden plots.
The students were a tremendous help and spirits stayed high despite the rain! Spirits
were also high during (and after!) our 10th Anniversary celebration.
The event took a lot of preparation and teamwork during September and early
October, but our efforts certainly paid off. The event was full of people (100
came!), good, local food, stories from GtC youth and parents, and music. It was
a huge success and we raised lots of money! Our most recent project has been
making preparations for our new hoop house that we hope to raise before the
next snowfall. The hoop house will be used for growing starters for our gardens
during planting season! 

CHOICES: Getting Involved

Oct 28, 2011 by Sabina Dhakal

Continuing the cycle of community...[Read More]

LEAD Program Participant Book Reading!

Oct 28, 2011 by Quanita Hailey

Teri Buford O' Shea was a participant of  The Consortium's LEAD Career Initiative's program. The career Initiative's program provides opportunities for people in mental health, addiction and/or trauma recovery to start their own small businesses or pursue self-employment through small grants.

Teri is a second year recipient of the Initiative's grant, and a survivor victim with unbelievable story to tell. At age nineteen Teri joined Peoples Temple in California led by Jim  Jones and was a member for seven years. She followed the Peoples Temple to Jonestown, Guyana only to narrowly escape with her life three weeks before the massacre of Jone's followers. It was placed on her heart to share this traumatic experience in the form of poetry, and through  the initative's program she has become a published author.

Join us on November 14, 2011 at the Forbes Library Community Room, to support and share with Teri Buford O' Shea as she reads portions of her book titled  "Jonestown Lullaby."

For more information about our author, and the book please check the links below:


Who is the 99%?

Oct 28, 2011 by Hilary Pollan

Over the last month we have watched Americans take to the streets throughout our nation, to fight against widespread injustices created by corporate and political greed.  People from all over recognize that the grievances expressed by the “Occupy Wall Street” movement closely resemble their own realities, own struggles, and own visions for a better society. Now, what started as a concentrated group of people in New York City, has migrated to other cities and communities. A few weeks ago at Mount Holyoke, for example, students walked out of their classes as an act of solidarity with the “Occupy Wall Street” movement. In both Northampton and Amherst, community members have gathered to express their solidarity too. [Read More]

Tutor-mentoring with CONNECTIONS

Oct 28, 2011 by Cecilia Morgan

Mount Holyoke tutor-mentors not only help children having difficulties with their homework, we strive to fulfill CONNECTIONS’ mission statement and goals to support and contribute to academic achievement. Volunteers are role-models, reliable, trustworthy sources of information, mentors, and friends. As tutor-mentors, my co-worker, and I know we are helping each time we are greeted with open arms and smiling faces, and children that can’t wait to get their homework done! [Read More]

CBL Fellowship at Womanshelter/Compañeras

Oct 21, 2011 by Alexis Myers

 I think it is really important for other people in the Holyoke community and beyond to know about Womanshelter/Compañeras and what their mission and goals are. I also think it is crucial that people worldwide start learning more about the issue of domestic violence and how big of a problem it is. I will know if I met my goal if there are other people in the community start talking more and having conversations about domestic violence and becoming more aware of the problem and ways to help. 

Some facts about domestic violence:  


-One in every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime. (Tjaden, Patricia & Thoennes, Nancy. National Institute of Justice and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, “Extent, Nature and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey,” (2000).)

-An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year. (Costs of Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in the United States. 2003. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Centers for Injury Prevention and Control. Atlanta, GA.)

-85% of domestic violence victims are women. (Bureau of Justice Statistics Crime Data Brief, Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2001, February 2003.) -Females who are 20-24 years of age are at the greatest risk of nonfatal intimate partner violence. (U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Intimate Partner Violence in the United States,” December 2006.)

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Valley Opportunity Council, Chicopee (Adult Basic Education Program)

Oct 17, 2011 by Kim Fielding

I am a senior, Psychology major, Critical Social Thought minor with interests in education, community development and teaching. After working in ABE 100 class last year as a tutor, I realized that this was an extraordinary opportunity for me to learn more about the impact of education, particularly adult education on community development in low income communities. I also wanted to connect with the community surrounding Mount Holyoke College. I am passionate about social work. As a Community Fellow, I am immersed in the opportunity to explore a range of social issues and community work. This will be instrumental as I think through my career and academic plans after college

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