“I firmly believe that service comes before self, and I look forward to strengthening the communities in which I serve,” Meghan Benzel says. Meghan's work as an AmeriCorps volunteer has taken her into neighborhoods devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and more recently, Superstorm Sandy. She has worked with at-risk youth impacted and influenced by gang violence in northern California.
Even during her time at Landmark College, Meghan served as a resident assistant.
And she recently returned to campus as a member of the SerVermont VISTA Volunteer for Windham County. Since starting her VISTA work here at Landmark College, Meghan has organized many valuable events and programs. Her work is based on The Putney Student Corps consists of students from Landmark College, The Greenwood School, The Grammar School, Putney Central School, and The Putney School. The work that she has done has restored connections with Landmark College and the Putney community.
One of her first projects was a Halloween trick-or-treat event that allowed the town’s young trick-or-treaters to have a safe place to celebrate. With Hurricane Sandy, the event ended up having 276 participants. Landmark was known from this event as “the college that saved Halloween.”
Meghan has challenged Landmark College and the Putney community to work as a whole. She is creating traditions, memories, and most of all, the youth’s view on what “true service” is. One of her most impressive events was Hurricane Sandy relief trip to New York City. Meghan led a group of Landmark College students to New York to help in the relief effort.
Before the trip, they organized a food and clothes drive to bring to a local shelter. The group worked for two days cleaning out devastation, working on photo recovery, and helping those in need. Here are a few photos highlighting their experience.
“Landmark College has helped me become the person I am today,” Meghan said. “Everything that I learned during my time at Landmark has helped me get to this point in my life. Not only did Landmark teach me how to learn, but it taught me how to live—how to live in such a way that I know will carry me very far in life. If not for Landmark, I would have never known about AmeriCorps, and if not for AmeriCorps, I wouldn’t have found my true passion in life.”