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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

    Caught in the ACT

    <ptime, snack time, and playtime are some of Marjorie Harrington’s typical work study duties. Harrington, a junior, earns the standard campus wage in an off-campus job at the Northfield Daycare Center. On a typical day she might serve snacks to the children, take them to the library, clean the kitchen, or monitor the playground.

    “My job isn’t like a lot of campus jobs; I always have something to do, and I can’t count on having free time to get my homework done,” Marjorie says. However, she enjoys working with people who aren’t within the 18-22 age range. She loves connecting with the kids, their siblings, grandparents, and parents, many of whom have hired her to babysit.

    Community Work Study placements have nearly doubled in the past two years under the leadership of Diana Dargen, the Community Work Study Coordinator at Carleton and St. Olaf and a member of the ACT Center Staff. Dargen currently supervises 60 Carleton students and 23 community organizations including Laura Baker, the Arts Guild, the Historical Society, and the YMCA.

    Work study is a state and federally funded program for students receiving federal aid. The college pays 70% of their wages and the daycare, school, or community organization pays the other 30%. It is a mutually beneficial relationship between the college, the students, and the community organizations. Dargen is continuously impressed with “the connection and level of commitment these students make in the community.”

    For Marjorie Harrington, this commitment is driven by the sense of achievement she experiences in her job. “I’m actually accomplishing things, I’m actually affecting people’s lives,” she reminds herself. “And besides, several times per week small children run up to me and give me hugs. That alone makes it worth everything–even the dirty diapers.”

    For students who are not interested in diapers, other jobs include website design, marketing/communications, family education, history collaborative, respite counselors, family support services, youth choir, music therapy assistant, library reference and circulation, and youth mentoring. More information and regular updates can be found on the ACT website or by contacting Diana Dargen

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