Community Engagement

With the creation of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee on the Amherst College Campus, we will be looking at ways in which we can help to promote the importance of participation in various community engagement projects throughout the year. We will try and look at ways in which the student-athletes, athletic department and the respective teams can be more visible within our community; increase awareness of engagement opportunities; assist outside organizations through support and participation; enhance the lives of others within our community and look for ways in which we can volunteer our time and energy.

As we have formed a committee that will be working specifically with Community Engagement and Outreach, we hope to provide opportunities for teams and their respective student-athletes to become more involved with giving back to others . As opportunities present themselves, we will include those on this site with information, and links to a project sponsor. We would also like to recognize some of the various on-going outreach projects that our student-athletes participate in, so please continue to check in with this site as it will be updated regularly.

Amherst College's Center for Community Engagement - This is a new center on campus that will serve as a central resource for information about area opportunities in service and social justice. They also coordinate sustained partnerships between campus groups and community organizations, facilitate cooperation between various student groups, and assist in the development of effective student leadership with the goal of cultivating a respectful campus environment dedicated to personal and group empowerment.

The Friends of Jaclyn 5k Run - The "Friends of Jaclyn" supports pediatric brain tumor patients and matches them up with sports teams. For those of you who are not aware, the Men’s Soccer program has been active with FOJ since last October when their team "adopted" Michael Lanosa, a fantastic eight year old wonderkid who has become their biggest fan!  This year, the department has become more involved with the program as Field Hockey, Football, and Men's Lacrosse have also "adopted" children as honorary teammates.  Currently, FOJ has matched children with over 50 teams nationwide.  It is a special program that has touched all the participants in so many ways.

Habitat for Humanity - Building houses on West Street in Amherst. Athletic teams work on the weekends throughout the school year to help build houses.

Team Easter Seals - Forest Park, Springfield October 5, 2008 a walk to benefit the Easter Seals Foundation, in which they are hoping to have as much school representation participating. The College Challenge is to have at least 30 people from various schools, and transportation will be provided.

Pipe Line Project: The Pipeline Program - As students progress along the so-called academic pipeline from upper elementary school to high school graduation and beyond, there is a disparity in achievement among students in the Amherst schools. The goal of the "Pipeline Project" is to build academic and social competencies through a structured program that holds high academic expectations for performance, is sustained over time, and can include the sustained participation of students as they progress through our schools. An indicator our success in achieving that goal is to increase the number of students in honors classes (at the secondary level) from groups that are currently underrepresented in these classes in the Amherst Public Schools. The Pipeline Program includes multiple components: 1) academic tutoring by Amherst College students on school sites and on the College campus (with supervision and support of Amherst and Regional school district staff); 2) parent/family involvement; and 3) a summer program at Amherst College, which includes academic tutorials in ELA and mathematics as well as enrichment activities that expose students to a variety of artistic, social, and athletic venues.

Change for Change - Change for Change is a campus wide initiative through which money is raised for community based programs by the collection of loose change. Last year, the money collected went to Habitat for Humanity, and Horizons for Homeless Children. Our organization is dependent upon the participation of our student-athletes. It is a great way for those of us who don't have much time because of practices and games to get involved and help for 25 minutes. Collections take place 3-4 times a year.

ABC Fall Foliage Walk - a 20k walk through the trails of Amherst and ending at the ABC House in Amherst. The walk is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the ABC (A Better Chance) Please click on the header for more information about the walk.

3D: Difference for the Developmentally Disabled (3D) was founded in 2001, and draws children and adults with developmental disabilities from Amherst and surrounding areas to Alumni gym where they participate in a variety of activities and sports with Amherst student-athletes. Each week we draw between 20-25 “3D buddies”, each of whom is paired up with two to three Amherst buddies. Between 30-40 Amherst students regularly attend 3D meetings. All Amherst students interested in participating are encouraged to attend on Sunday nights. The program runs from 6:30 to 8:00 on Sunday nights. The night starts with a brief introduction by the director(s) outlining what activities are available and in what section of the gym they take place. After breaking up, the 3D buddies let their student buddies know what type of games or crafts they are interesting in doing. Mobility between activities is encouraged; in a given night a 3D buddy can play a few games of Connect Four, draw pictures, sing songs on the karaoke, and still get a few at-bats in the weekly game of kickball. The meeting ends by bringing all participants together once again. The director says a few brief remarks, notes peoples’ birthdays, and congratulates buddies on any special awards they may have won in school or in athletic competitions. Everyone does the hokey pokey and then heads to the atrium for cookies and juice as they wait for their rides.