June 2011 - Group Spotlight - Wilkes Community College SAGE
Each year 38 Wilkes Community College student clubs provide hundreds of hours of volunteer work to make MerleFest possible. One of those clubs is Supporting Academic Goals for Education, better known as SAGE. The volunteers from this group man the Student Volunteer Check-in tent. As student volunteers enter the festival grounds, they check in at this tent to obtain their wristbands, receive their meal and drink coupons, and receive directions to their volunteer locations.
Angela Scheuermann, director of SAGE, comments that both students and staff benefit from their work at MerleFest. “SAGE members benefit by having one-on-one interactions with a SAGE staff member and by receiving a day’s free pass to MerleFest with a coupon for a complimentary meal and drink.” She continues that staff members also gain experience from their work by “having extended time to work alongside student volunteers and building more in-depth personal relationships with them; this benefits both the students and the SAGE staff.”
The group also appreciates the opportunity to give back to the community. Not only do their efforts help to stimulate the economy of the area, but they, as individuals, gain knowledge and skills that will be of benefit in the future. Scheuermann adds, “The logistics of organizing and staffing MerleFest is a group effort. Participating by volunteering builds a sense of community in the WCC family. Our students benefit from the relationships formed at the festival.”
The monies earned by the group for their work also directly affect WCC students. The funds are used to pay for Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) membership fees as well as to purchase PTK stoles and tassels for graduation. As with other WCC clubs, SAGE uses these funds to provide student “scholarships”—monies for emergency student needs as recognized by staff members. Examples of these include providing money for electric bills, food or medical needs.