CWI Students Volunteer at South Meridian YMCA

College of Western Idaho students, Hailey Stephensky, left, Carly Edwards, Natasha Lima-Rivas, and Annie Colombatto
College of Western Idaho students, Hailey Stephensky, left, Carly Edwards, Natasha Lima-Rivas, and Annie Colombatto
February 5, 2021

College of Western Idaho (CWI) students, Hailey Stephensky, Carly Edwards, Natasha Lima-Rivas, and Annie Colombatto, recently volunteered their time at the South Meridian YMCA THRIVE Center, a program created to assist neurodiverse children and adults. Completing nearly 50 required service-learning hours for their Foundations of Social Work (SOCW 202) class, the students were able to apply concepts learned in the classroom to community needs.

“My service-learning experience with the THRIVE Center was so enriching,” said Colombatto. “Learning about what the YMCA does to help the neurodiverse community really opened my eyes to the different areas social workers can promote change.”

Service hours included creating curriculum for classes and camps; collecting fun, healthy, and affordable recipes to teach adults with autism how to cook; providing resources to teach life skills; and creating a pamphlet on current legislation impacting our community.

“We were able to create fun content for their different classes and camps, which I loved,” Colombatto continued. “We were even able to create a handout for parents/caregivers showing them how they can help advocate for their neurodiverse loved ones. I'm glad I was able to help serve their community even with the constraints of COVID right now.”