Compelling Connections

Let's invest our time and energy into doing something good, together.

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Kids 2 Campus 2014

On Wednesday, April 9th, 92 elementary students from surrounding schools journeyed to St. Norbert College  for Kids 2 Campus. Youth who attend a YMCA or Boys and Girls Club After-School program at high poverty schools in the Green Bay School District participated in the visit. Kids 2 Campus is an annual event that began in 2006 with students from a single after-school program and now includes students participating in after-school programs at Keller, Danz, Nicolet, Sullivan, Eisenhower, Doty, Jefferson and Fort Howard schools. This event provides youth with the opportunity to visit the campus and experience college life to promote college as an option for them. It also gives them a glimpse of where the SNC volunteers they work with through other projects and programs come from. The day consisted of a campus tour, dinner at Michels commons, and a lesson that focused on Science Technology Engineering Math (STEM) and Leadership. This year 36 SNC students volunteered at this event. Below are reflections of the event shared by three of these volunteers: Mara Aparnieks, Hannah Kestly and Rachel School.

By Mara Aparnieks

unnamed (1)Kids 2 Campus brings students from Green Bay area schools to St. Norbert College for an afternoon of exploring what college life is like and participating in engaging lessons. This is my second year participating in the event. Last year, I helped out as a teacher for one of the lessons. This year I was able to spend even more time with the students as a volunteer.

My favorite part of Kids 2 Campus is eating dinner with the students. When we first walk into the cafeteria with them, I absolutely love how their eyes light up, usually followed by exclamations of “YOU GET TO EAT HERE?!” It really makes me appreciate how beautiful St. Norbert College is and how lucky I am to attend this school. While the inevitable food frenzy begins, the kids eventually settle down at a table (with heaping bowls of ice cream and plates piled high with pizza, pasta, and the rare piece of fruit). The St. Norbert students then get to chat with them. This one-on-one time is not only valuable to the kids, but also to us. I know as a pre-service teacher that being able to relate to the students is an integral part of my job, and I get to do this as I hear about their crazy hair day at school or the math problems they worked on. Overall, the most influential part of Kids 2 Campus is this opportunity I – as an SNC student – have to inspire them to dream big. They inspire me to appreciate what I have and the little parts of my life that make it so special.

By Hannah Kestly

unnamedI first volunteered for Kids 2 Campus last year as a first year student and really enjoyed the experience. I’m glad that I had the opportunity to do it again this year. As an elementary education major, I always try to participate in campus events that work with kids, so Kids 2 Campus relates perfectly to my career goals! Kids 2 Campus is a great opportunity to get younger kids excited about college. Giving the kids a brief tour of the campus and eating dinner with them was the most influential part of their visit.

Kids 2 Campus is a great way for education majors and other students who enjoy working with kids to gain volunteer experience and learn more about working with kids from the surrounding communities. My favorite part of the day is when the kids first arrive and get off their buses because you can tell that they are excited to be at St. Norbert and excited to learn more about college. I could tell that the kids I worked with in my group enjoyed themselves throughout the entire visit. It was fun to hear them say things like “This place is so cool!” and “When I go to college I’m coming to St. Norbert.”

By Rachel School

Kids 2 Campus provided me with an opportunity to work with young children, raise college awareness and cultivate an interest in the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) fields.  Since I am considering a career as an educator, this event showed me a different aspect of education. One does not always need to be in a classroom to teach. During this event, I had the opportunity to work with a group of kids on an activity designed to build leadership and teamwork skills. My role was to guide and mentor the kids, not directly instruct them. It was wonderful to see the kids working together, trying new ideas, and stepping into leadership roles.

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Act! Speak! Build! Week: April 7-11

Act! Speak! Build! Week: April 7th-11th

The second week of April is Act! Speak! Build! Week at St. Norbert College and around the nation. This is a nationally recognized week sponsored by Habitat for Humanity. This week goes beyond the physical build site as volunteers and student groups turn their focus toward advocating for decent, affordable shelter. The overall purpose is to educate others about Habitat’s mission and what can be done to prevent homelessness and substandard housing.

St. Norbert’s Habitat for Humanity group chose to focus on educating the campus about what Habitat for Humanity is and they type of work their group does throughout the academic year. The culmination of the week’s events will be a presentation in Fort Howard Theater about Habitat and the impact it has on the families it works with. A Habitat Family will be speaking about their experience working with Habitat to build an affordable house for their family.

Other events happening earlier in the week include:

Monday 4/7: Join Habitat by wearing Habitat for Humanity clothing or blue/green clothing to increase awareness of the organization itself! The blue and green reflect the colors of the earth that represent Habitat’s global identity and their grassroots nature.

Tuesday 4/8: Habitat for Humanity members will be campaigning via social media to increase awareness of affordable housing. Watch for fun facts and ways to get involved!

Wednesday 4/9: The Habitat for Humanity group will be hosting a game night at St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter. They are excited to connect with the community through this event and are looking forward to becoming more educated about the issues they are so passionate about.

Thursday 4/10: Join Habitat for Humanity in the Fort Howard theater for a presentation by a Habitat family. Event details are below:

Thursday, April 10th
7:00 pm
Fort Howard Theater
Presentation by Habitat for Humanity Family
Question & Answer Segment

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Living Simply in South Carolina – A TRIPS Reflection

Last month, eight St. Norbert students spent their spring break serving in South Carolina through an organization called Christmas in Action. This alternative break was part of St. Norbert’s TRIPS (Turning Responsibility Into Powerful Service) program. Christmas In Action is a non-profit organization whose vision is to assist in the prevention of substandard housing. They achieve this vision by remodeling homes of the elderly, disabled, and otherwise disadvantaged. The St. Norbert group worked on home repair projects alongside other volunteers and community partners. The trip was led by Emily Vetter. Below is a reflection of their time in South Carolina.


By Emily Vetter, Trip Leader

Our group truly ‘lived simply’ during our Elderly Outreach alternative break in South Carolina. Enoree First Baptist Church graciously gave us a place to stay. The members of the congregation and community were very accommodating and thoughtful.

We arrived late Saturday night to the church and were warmly greeted by Pastor Steven. Sunday was a day filled with bible study, service, exploring the city of Spartanburg, and meeting Ingrid Belue, Program Coordinator for Christmas In Action. Having the chance to experience a Baptist service was very eye-opening for our group and something we were happy we had the opportunity to attend. The city of Spartanburg was very quaint and beautiful; we stumbled upon a unique coffee shop housed in an old Masonic Temple. And meeting Ingrid was wonderful. Her stories of how Christmas In Action has been able to help others really got our group excited for the week!

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On Monday we had a full day at Lowe’s where we were given crash courses on home construction. The workshops at Lowe’s were very helpful and the workers were happy to answer all of our questions.

Tuesday was our first day of service with Christmas In Action. We split into two groups, one was assigned to building a handicap ramp and re-tarring a mobile home roof, the other was given the task of remodeling a bathroom for an elderly woman. Serving at the home site was a great opportunity to get to know Pastor Steven better, along with having the chance to build relationships with other members of the congregation. Building the ramp required the four of us to obtain our PH Ds, or duties as “Post Hole Diggers”. Regardless of which project we were working on, throughout the week we were able to build strong relationships with those we were serving.

Each and every person we met in South Carolina constantly expressed their gratitude to us. From the Pastor and congregation recognizing us at their Sunday service, to Ingrid and everyone involved with Christmas In Action continuously restating the powerful impact we were having on the homeowners. We were truly blessed by the people we met. Seeds of Hope, Christmas In Action, Enoree Church, and St. John’s Lutheran Church willingly provided dinner to our group each night and each person we interacted with sent prayers our way.

Along with the generous hospitality, another aspect of this trip that had a powerful impact on all of us was the passion each and every person had for his or her faith. There was not one moment when they were acting for anyone but God. Every morning at the ramp site we would pray and give our thanks for the opportunity to serve God. Each night we would give thanks for the service we were able to do and for the meal we were about to have. It was astonishing to see how up-front and alive they were in their faith. The generosity displayed by each and every individual was incredibly inspiring.

We had amazing accommodation, awesome work sites, incredible bonding opportunities and we created memories that will last a lifetime. This was the first year an SNC trip worked with the social justice issue of Elderly Outreach and I think it was a tremendous success. We hope this trip continues to make an impact on those in Spartanburg, SC as much as it made an impression on us.

We look forward to continuing our service and plan on bringing our experiences in South Carolina back to campus and the surrounding community. This trip will forever hold a spot in our hearts. We cannot wait to see where our futures in service take us.

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The Worth of Each Human Being – A TRIPS Reflection

This past week, five St. Norbert women spent their spring break serving through the TRIPS alternative break program with the L’Arche community in Clinton, Iowa. L’Arche is a Christian community of people with developmental disabilities and those who share life with them. Their mission is to create a welcoming environment, to appreciate the unique gifts of each person and to respond to each individual’s needs. The L’Arche trip, known as “The Arch”, was led by St. Norbert senior, Kendra Wauters. Below is a reflection of their time in Iowa.


By Kendra Wauters ‘14, Trip Leader

Megan Duff, Nicole Zellner, Autumn Maas-Everard, Rachel Taubel, and I spent our spring break at L’Arche in Clinton, Iowa. Unlike other trips through the TRIPS program, this service trip did not include building something tangible, or changing the lives of the people we were working with in a profound way. Rather, we were the ones who walked away from the experience with a new found love for the people we served, and a greater understanding of the worth of each human being, regardless of ability.

Throughout the week, we cleaned, organized, or did some other type of service in the morning. In the afternoon we had a break to rest or explore the small – but sprawling – town of Clinton. The evening is when we were given the chance to share life with the core members, or the people with disabilities, and the assistants who work in the homes as caretakers and friends. They welcomed us into their homes as if they’d known us forever. Each day we formed new friendships and after only a few short hours in each home (there were three: Arch I, Arch II, Arch IV) we were welcomed into the L’Arche family.

L’Arche, as their mission states, aims to appreciate the unique gifts of each person and to respond to each one’s needs, and that is exactly what they do! While I was preparing dinner at Arch II the first evening, I was nervous about the food that would be served. I don’t eat meat and also extremely dislike tomatoes. I was nervous to speak up about my pickiness when it comes to food. After I spoke up to the assistant cooking dinner that evening, he assured me that it was no big deal to make my meal without meat and tomato sauce – in fact almost everyone at the table was eating something slightly different. One man couldn’t eat the meat and had a different type of noodle, two others were allergic to something in the sauce, and everything had to be chopped extremely small in order to accommodate one man with no teeth. It was the oddest family dinner I’ve ever been a part of – and it was wonderful. It truly exemplified respecting the dignity and preferences of everyone around the table, even if they were unable to speak up for themselves. Thinking back, it doesn’t matter what food is served, but rather that everyone gathered around the table is sharing life together, and building friendships that last forever.

I could go on for days about the people I met, and the special moments I shared with each of the 18 core members, but for now I would like to leave you with the Arch Table Prayer that is said before dinner in each of the homes: “O, Heavenly Father, we do pray, that you will bless this food today. Bless this family gathered here, and everyone who we hold dear.” Amen.

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Register for Relay!

By Sarah Wallenfang ’14
Treasurer, Colleges Against Cancer

While it may be taking its sweet time to get here, Spring is just around the corner. And for many people on campus and in the De Pere community who’ve had to face cancer in some way, that means one thing: Relay for Life.

For those who aren’t familiar with Relay for Life, it is an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society designed to raise funds for cancer research. The main staple of the event is that it is, in fact, a relay. Teams sign up, and on the day of the event spend time walking around a track. However, Relay is so much more than that. Throughout the day different activities, such as children’s games and theme laps, keep up participant morale. A silent auction with everything from baked goods to bicycles offers a different way to raise money than direct fundraising. And, most important, is the survivor ceremony where everyone in attendance comes together to celebrate those who’ve beaten cancer, remember those who lost their fight and show support for those currently fighting. It is truly an event to remember.

For the De Pere Relay for Life, the American Cancer Society teams up with SNC’s Colleges Against Cancer. Together they work tirelessly to put on the best Relay possible and to spread community awareness of the importance of events like Relay for Life when it comes to the fight against cancer. This year’s Relay is to be held on Saturday, April 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Schuldes Gym.

So far there are 42 teams signed up for Relay with a total of 198 participants who together have raised over $7,500. However, with Relay still over a month away and registration open through April 12, there is plenty of time to join this fantastic cause. To register, go to the De Pere Relay for Life page. Once there, you can start a team, join a team or simply donate. If you don’t have a team to join, but want to attend, a member of Colleges Against Cancer has started a team open to anyone—The Tumornators (find “The Tumornators” on the drop down menu).

Whether you join College Against Cancer’s team or another, signing up only requires a small amount of registration information and a $10 payment. This payment can be made online when you register or paid in person at a later date. Attend Relay, and you too can make strides to beat cancer!

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Zambia Project: Zam Jams – February 28th

By Malorie Imhoff ’15

Zambia Project is thrilled to present their bi-annual musical event, Zam Jams, this Friday evening! Since 2001, Zambia Project has been working hard to raise funds for schools in Zambia, Africa. The money goes toward supplies for students and salary for teachers. Over the years, Zambia Project has raised thousands of dollars, providing children with an opportunity for a better future through education.

The event runs this Friday, February 28th in the Knight Owl from 7 pm to 11 pm. Cost of admission is $3, and all of this goes directly to Zambia Project’s mission of funding schooling in Africa. The atmosphere of Zam Jams is very relaxing; folks may come and go as they please throughout the night while enjoying free refreshments and featured performances by SNC musicians Austin Daoust and the Boys of Thunder, Rachel Ziolkowski, Brian Anderson, CJ Guzan and Michael Ahlberg, and Nora Eckert. Each performer has generously donated their time and talents and I can’t wait to hear what they have prepared for us this time! Zam Jams is one of our biggest and most successful fundraisers each year, and I believe it is largely due to the incredible involvement of talented musicians and enthusiastic audiences. Every semester I look forward to putting on this event because there is such a community of support from the campus – students are respectful and encouraging of musicians while having a great time with their friends supporting this wonderful cause.

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A Passion for Teaching – A TRIPS Reflection

This January, TRIPS (Turning Responsibility into Powerful Service) leaders Katie Stewart ‘14 and Katherine Spude ‘14 headed down to Milwaukee with their participants. Students worked side-by-side with teachers who graduated from SNC and learned about the school system in Milwaukee. The trip participants had the incredible opportunity to gain a hands-on classroom teaching experience. Below is a reflection by Urban Education TRIP Leader, Katherine Spude ‘14.


By Katherine Spude ‘14

Before departing from De Pere, our overall goal for the trip was to provide service to St. Anthony School of Milwaukee and the cooperating teachers in any way they found helpful. We accomplished this goal in many ways. We provided students with individualized, small group, and large group instruction, contributed to the organization of the school’s new guided-reading library, and most importantly, we had the opportunity to share our college experiences with the students – doing our best to inspire and motivate them.

However, what we didn’t expect was the extraordinary amount of knowledge, experience, and passion for teaching the staff and students would instill in us. From the moment we walked into the school, the faculty were dedicated to helping us in every way possible. Our cooperating teachers gave us the opportunity to design and implement lesson plans and they provided us with constructive feedback. The week was full of professional development thanks to them. The Instructional Dean, Teresa Riley, provided us with hours of knowledge about the ever-changing field of education and prepared those of us who are graduating for the application process.

My biggest takeaway from this experience was witnessing the genuine desire and drive the students have to attend college and live a successful life. A large majority of the population (including myself prior to this trip), have an extremely stereotypical understanding of urban education. Most have the perception that urban schools are low achieving, struggle with behavior management, and lack the drive and discipline to further their education. This trip helped me recognize this ignorance and break the stereotypical label associated with urban schools. The students at St. Anthony are more driven and determined to go to college and be successful than any other school I’ve worked with. Not only are they driven to be successful, but they ARE successful. I guarantee you they will continue to achieve success throughout their educational career at St. Anthony.

Urban Education Trip Paricipants - January 2014

Back Row (L to R): Tess Botsford, Amie Bomber, Alexis Pamperin, Kelsey Woodward
Front Row (L to R): Emily Wavro, Ali Ehlert, Katie Stewart, Katherine Spude, Sally Schremp


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