Fifteen students enrolled in Farmingdale State College’s Research Aligned Mentorship (RAM) Program have added adoption to their list of ways of giving back to the Long Island community. Not children or abandoned dogs or cats. Highways!
Adopt-a-Highway, to be precise. The volunteer effort is run through the program’s RAMdom Acts of Service project. It is the project’s fourth give-back adventure this year, including volunteering at soup kitchens, beach cleanups, and local fundraising walks. Students, joined by RAM program staff members, are currently cleaning a two-mile long strip of highway shoulder, armed with garbage bags and “picker-uppers.” The students have committed to several months of clean-up.
Just as important, the students have added an environmental component to the project. They are picking through the trash, collecting recyclable plastic items that can be recycled. Each student carries one bag for the plastics, and another for cardboard refuse. The remaining debris is collected by the Suffolk County Department of Public Works. In this way, the RAM students have gone way beyond a beautification effort.
“This highway cleanup is more than just a good deed,” says Dylan Gafarian, RAM academic counselor and participant in the clean-up effort. “It is also a valuable experience of serving others and the local community. RAM Scholars are earning invaluable lessons on leadership, community outreach, and humanitarianism.”
The RAM Program is a highly selective program in which students receive holistic advisement, research opportunities, and guided applied-learning experiences. It enrolls up to 250 students a year, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
Across SUNY, students, faculty and administration alike are coming together to in the spirit of charity and togetherness. 30 Days of Giving is our annual tradition, which starts on Thanksgiving every year, where we reflect on efforts of the past year and highlight some of the selfless acts of that members of the SUNY community are leading. Stay tuned for more.
Farmingdale State College plays a critical role not just in teaching its students, but in shaping them. At Farmingdale, you will enjoy small, personalized classes that prepare you for a successful career through the use of real-world technologies and critical thinking.