Guest Bloggers: Melissa McCreery, VP of Development at Kilns College
College students tend to get a bad rap. The prevalent stereotype is that students are self- serving party animals that care little about the future or consequences of their actions. Additionally, they’re usually labeled as cheap (for example, often failing to scrounge up a decent tip at the local burger joint). Most of us know that – generally speaking—stereotypes exist for a reason. That is, there is usually at least some element of truth to them. Want to know the truly awesome thing about this? If the majority of a certain segment of the population falls into a pre-conceived stereotype, then there’s bound to be a group of people who resoundingly defy it.
I’m going to feel a bit like a bragging mom here, but Kilns students defy the self-centered, cheap, partying student stereotype every single day.
I’ve seen our students put the needs of their classmates above their own. I’ve witnessed them giving their time and resources to those in more desperate need than themselves. I’ve seen them deeply involved in the Central Oregon community. It’s honestly one of the more inspiring (and often convicting) things I’ve witnessed in the world of higher education.
Currently, a handful of Kilns students are raising money to attend the Justice Conference in Philadelphia this February. And here’s the kicker… they’re not even planning to sit in on the sessions. They’re actually raising money and traveling across the country to VOLUNTEER!
Recently, our students hosted a Small Town Poets concert to raise money for their travel to the conference. They organized, advertised, emceed, and hosted the event entirely on their own. It was an awesome night and 100 percent of money raised went directly to the students.
As an administrator at the college, nothing makes me more proud than seeing our students raise money to fly across the country to work 15-hour days so that conference attendees can have an amazing weekend learning about biblical and social justice issues.
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Melissa’s Bio: Melissa grew up in Southern California and attended the University of Southern California where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and Political Science. After working as a First Year Advisor at USC, Melissa moved to Boston to pursue graduate studies. She earned her Ed.M in Higher Education from Harvard University and moved to Bend, Oregon following graduation. Prior to working at Kilns College, Melissa worked at several college and higher education organizations such as USC, the New England Board of Higher Education, Emerson College, and Central Oregon Community College.