Jill Washburn, community service coordinator, 406.238.7394,
RMC Media Team, 406.657.1105,

New community involvement partnerships strengthen RMC students and local agencies

BILLINGS, August 25, 2014 – New community involvement partnerships in fall 2014 offer numerous opportunities for Rocky Mountain College students to engage the Billings community by making a difference with some even offering work study pay. Many RMC students make a priority of invigorating their neighborhood. 

Each year, half of RMC students engage in service. RMC community service programming is student-driven: new initiatives blossom each year as students move ahead and find new service opportunities. 

The RMC Office of Community Involvement (OCI) encourages lifelong dedication to community service and informed citizenship. Through programming, OCI promotes and engages the College in national and local community service. Current opportunities include community service-based work study, individual and group volunteering, disaster response, and homelessness awareness and advocacy. 

To learn more about any of the below, contact Jill Washburn, community service coordinator, at 406.238.7394. 

RSVP Relationship – Local retired professionals will be invited to serve with RMC students in multi-generational service commitments. Yellowstone County Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) participants, age 55 and over, share skills and life experience whenever they volunteer. College students recognize that working with elders on common goals offers rich and meaningful perspective. This relationship should demonstrate the power of community collaboration and help RMC students realize that volunteering and community engagement continues at any age. 

Discover, Connect, Take Action: Girl Scouts – RMC will host a Girl Scout troop on campus this academic year thanks to a memorandum of understanding with the Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming. The Girl Scouts’ College Positive Volunteer collaboration helps girls to “gain leadership skills, learn the importance of education, and discover the impact they can have on their communities and the world. By showing girls that higher education is a worthwhile and attainable goal, more girls are encouraged to pursue higher education and a more secure future outside of poverty.” Washburn will ask faculty and staff to present on topics such as chemistry, business, economics, computer science, art, aviation, and equestrian academic programs as well as potential career opportunities in varied fields. 

Partner in Education – Rose Park Elementary School is partnering with RMC to strengthen curricular offerings. Both Rose Park and RMC students benefit as they address mutual goals such as learning and building community. The College is a longstanding member of the Partner in Education program of the Billings Public Schools Education Foundation. Past collaboration has included student and staff volunteering and Seussville University, a program that encourages a lifelong dedication to literacy. 

Joining Community Forces – Students can support veterans’ needs. The mission of JCF is “to rally this nation to support our military families to make sure that we are supporting them – our troops and our veterans – as well as they have supported us,” Michelle Obama said in a Marine Corps interview. RMC is listed as a referral institution with the Eastern Montana Veterans’ Support Network to help identify grassroots solutions at the community level to assist veterans, service members, and their families with employment, wellness, and education issues. 

Bears and Cubs – Students may serve as a Big Brother/Big Sister to a Highland Elementary School student through the school year by spending two hours a week assisting with homework, being a mentor, and helping with reading skills. The Bears and Cubs program works through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Yellowstone County and coordinates sports event attendance, games, and special events for Bears and their Cubs to enjoy. 

Teen Education & Creation Hub (TECH) Mentoring – Either as a volunteer or a hired mentor, RMC students may be trained to help teens with Billings Public Library TECH Lab projects and provide support to the teens during library hours. Students with skills in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEM) fields can lead workshops in the TECH lab.

Relay for Life – Relay for Life raises funds for the American Cancer Society. In 2014, RMC held its own Relay for Life walk on campus and looks to continue that tradition in 2015. The College first fielded a local Relay for Life team in 2007, and participation has grown steadily since. Some participants have seen loved ones battle cancer, and some are themselves survivors. Fundraising efforts for Relay for Life have included planning the RMC event, a chili feed, a taco bar, bake sales during finals weeks, and a head-shaving “Hair Raising.”

Reading Companion – RMC college students will partner with the United Way CARE Academy, a 2014-15 afterschool program at Boulder Elementary School, to assist with reading development.