Story provided by Meridian Technology Center
For students attending Meridian Technology Center, the last year hasn’t just been about what they get from coming to class. It’s also been about what they give.
As part of the school’s Citizenship-Ready endorsement, students at Meridian have an opportunity to be recognized for their contributions to the community. During their time at Tech, nearly 90 recent graduates documented more than 2,100 community service hours.
“When students attend Meridian, we want to help them be prepared for life,” said Jeanie Zagar, Executive Director, Career Planning/Career Development. “We focus on the academic success that will prepare them to enter the workforce or college through Career-Ready and College-Ready Credentials. We also emphasize the difference they can make in the community through service.”
Perry student Chloe Rider logged 120 community service hours during her time at Tech, most of which were spent volunteering at Oklahoma City’s Neel Veterinary Hospital, where her mom is a vet.
As a student in Meridian’s Biomedical Sciences program, she has gained a solid foundation in math and science courses. Her community service hours allowed her to pursue the softer side of her studies while gaining valuable hands-on experience.
“I was able to do so much during my time there,” Rider recalled. “One day, I’d be providing comfort to animals, and the next day I would be helping in the ICU or sitting in during a surgery.”
Facilities Management student Kaden Polf was also able to use skills he acquired at Tech for good. As part of his Citizenship-Ready endorsement, he helped build a wooden backdrop for Stillwater’s Life.Church Christmas Eve services. “It was nice to be able to help out,” the Orlando student stated.
In addition to individual service hours, many of the school’s programs provide opportunities for students to give back to Meridian’s district. In the fall, students from the daytime and evening Cosmetology programs offered free haircuts to students in the Perry school district. Students in Meridian’s Air Conditioning and Refrigeration, Carpentry, Electrical Technology, Facilities Management and Masonry programs assist Stillwater’s Habitat for Humanity in building affordable homes for families.
CareerTech Student Organizations also provide opportunities for impact. Last year, Business Professionals of America members raised more than $2,000 to support Special Olympics, provide relief for Ukrainian refugees and purchase Christmas gifts for local families who were experiencing a financial burden. Members also volunteered at the recent Oklahoma Special Olympics Summer Games. Students enrolled in health-related programs raised $600 for Be the Match, donated nearly 2,300 food items for Harvest II’s food drive and hosted a campus-wide blood drive through HOSA. SkillsUSA students raised almost $1,400 for Stillwater’s Turning Point Ranch.
This year, other agencies that benefited from Meridian student volunteers include the Oklahoma Blood Institute, Our Daily Bread, Lions Meadows of Hope, and Lost Creek Safari.
Zagar added that the Citizenship-Ready endorsement bridges service with Meridian’s core values of impact and relationships.
“These values focus on others,” she said. “Students who earn this recognition are connecting the skills they gain at Tech to how they can use them to make a difference in organizations that are important to them and in the communities where they live.”
Meridian Technology Center has been a driver of economic development since 1975. With a mission to educate, enrich lives and secure economic futures, Meridian offers full-time career training programs, short courses, workforce and economic development assistance and entrepreneurial support to residents from the Agra, Carney, Glencoe, Guthrie, Morrison, Mulhall-Orlando, Pawnee, Perkins-Tryon, Perry and Stillwater school districts. The school has locations in Stillwater and Guthrie. Meridian is one of 29 schools within Oklahoma’s CareerTech system.
For more information or to enroll visit meridiantech.edu or contact a career counselor by phone at (405) 377-3333 or toll-free at (888) 607-2509.