University of St. Francis supports Spanish Community Center

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - Education

University of St. Francis student volunteers display their award at Joliet’s Spanish Community Center Volunteer Banquet. From left to right: Christina Melesio, Elizabeth Nevarez, Professor Ingrid Goobar-Szleifer, Corbin T. Angeles, Elisabet Miramontes Reyes, Debbie Rios, Ivette Albarran, Nashdira Rueda Galavizz. (Photo by Manuel Hernandez)

The University of St. Francis (USF) was recently honored by the Spanish Community Center (SCC) in Joliet for giving the most volunteer hours in 2012. USF was recognized for having both the largest number of volunteers and the most volunteered hours. The SCC is a 44-year old organization that provides a variety of services to the Joliet community including a food pantry, daycare assistance, immigration services and GED classes, to name a few. USF students provided assistance as one of the requirements of their community based/service learning Spanish classes at USF. The classes are conducted with the future professional in mind and help to bridge academics and community engagement and service.

During 2012, Goobar-Szleifer’s students including Ivette Albarran (Harvey), Ulises Ornelas (Joliet), Sarah Perkins (New Lenox), Nashdira Rueda Galavizz and Mary Valerugo (Joliet) worked as assistant tutors in SCC’s GED classes, helped in the food pantry, and assisted in other areas filling out forms for clients, providing information about resources and informing visitors about where they could go to obtain specific services. They then developed final projects at the end of the semester, which called for enlisting even more willing students like Christine Doran (Palos Heights), Kristy Garcia (Lynwood), Priscilla Macias (Harvey), Beatriz Martínez (Joliet), Elisabet Miramontes (Cicero), Virginia Rodriguez (Joliet), Ketura Taylor (Cary) and others to help with SCC projects and activities. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit

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