Student Success Specialist Works to Instill Value of Community in Students

The effects of this year’s pandemic are far-reaching. Lockdowns and closures have left our communities vulnerable and adapting to changes at rates greater than anyone could have imagined. It’s more important than ever to look at the needs around us and come together through community support.

Lauren Zickefoose, Student Success Specialist for Elk and Cameron Counties, believes that volunteering for local organizations is a great way for our students to interact with one another outside of class, as well as supporting and uplifting our communities.

“Instilling this value of community is pivotal in carrying out our mission at NPRC,” says Zickefoose.

On Friday, November 6, Lauren organized a volunteer day for her students at the Elk County Humane Society and spent the afternoon walking dogs. She plans to continuously search for opportunities in Elk and Cameron Counties that will be of value to our students, whether it relates directly to their academic programs or simply helps others in need within our local communities. An upcoming opportunity will be on December 16, in support of the Dickinson Center’s Cameron County Toy Drive. Dickinson is looking for volunteers to shop at the St. Mary’s Walmart for gifts and items needed by families this holiday season. Lauren is coordinating NPRC volunteers to help with this activity.

“By empowering our students to learn about and engage in their communities, they will create invaluable connections, help fulfill community goals, and develop a deeper understanding of the career and personal development opportunities at large,” continues Zickefoose.

If you would like to become part of the efforts in your region, email for updates on future volunteer opportunities in your community!