New Community Resource Studio Brings Additional Support to Students

March 10, 2017

Thanks to Greenfield Community College’s new Community Resource Studio, students can find support from Western Massachusetts non-profit organizations right on campus. GCC students are often referred to local agencies for additional assistance, however, some find it challenging to get to the agencies due to busy lives and lack of transportation. The new Community Resource Studio located in East Building Room 101 now provides access for the students. A number of community organizations have already scheduled time in the Studio to be available for students, including Dial Self, Voices from Inside, the RECOVER Project, Refuge Recovery, as well as GCC’s own Wellness Center/Counseling Services staff. Since plans for the Studio are still evolving, students can utilize the space for quiet study when the Studio is not in use.

GCC’s Director of Student Development Judy Raper, said, “We created the space because we have very brave and persistent students on campus who have challenges unrelated to academics that impact their academic success. We want to provide access to the organizations that can support them on their academic journeys. The Community Resource Studio is staffed by professionals who can support these students. I am both enthusiastic and hopeful about the kind of assistance the Community Resource Studio can offer our students who need emotional and social support beyond what the College can offer on its own. I believe this partnership will prove to be vital to our student’s success and enhance our partnerships with the participating organizations.”

Emily Ballard is the Community Engagement & Advocacy Coordinator for The RECOVER Project. She said, “We are thrilled to be involved with this important resource for the GCC students. We are always looking for ways to be more integrated in our greater community. Having a space on the GCC campus allows us to get the message out that recovery is possible and that it happens best in community.  It’s an exciting way to destigmatize recovery and build peer support systems which is part of the foundation of our work. We are currently conducting an All-Recovery Meeting on Tuesdays from Noon to 1pm, and holding open hours from Noon to 3 pm on Wednesdays. The RECOVER Project team members and peers are in the space during those hours to offer peer-to-peer support for those interested in both recovery and in learning about the kinds of supports available at The RECOVER Project’s storefront space, 68 Federal St. in Greenfield.”

Kathleen Keough, Learning Support Counselor for GCC’s Wellness Center/Counseling Services explains the significance of the location of the new Community Resource Studio.  She said, “The Wellness Center is located on the fourth floor of the Core Building. Many students find themselves primarily taking classes in the East Building and have, for the most part, no need to come to the Core.  A number of students have commented they did not know about the Wellness Center or its’ shared location with Disability Services, the Wellness Studio, and Counseling Services. For this reason, a consistent Wellness Center presence in the East Building is now available on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. (just outside of the Community Resources Studio) to provide students access to the Learning Support Counselor and numerous educational materials and/or referrals.”

For information about the Community Resource Studio, contact Judy Raper at RaperJ@gcc.mass.edu or 413-775-1819.

By Mary McClintock, ’82

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