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Landmark College Students Rally to Help Victims of Hurricane Sandy

Putney, VT –  In the wake of the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, Landmark College students expressed an immediate interest in participating in service based relief efforts to the affected areas.

Meghan Benzel, a Landmark College Alumna and current AmeriCorps Vista Volunteer for the College, organized a three-day service program from November 16-18, 2012 in a section of Rockaway, New York hit hard by the storm.

“It was incredible,” said Ms. Benzel. “A lot of us felt we needed to do something. We got there, and it was shocking. Tiring. Exciting. Hard. Heartbreaking. But we did so much good in two days.”

In those 48 hours, the group from Landmark College demolished six homes, rebuilt three storage sheds, and donated 17 bags of clothing, four bags of blankets, five pounds of food, three cases of water, and six cases of soda. They saved one woman from being evicted, provided daycare for five children, and fed six families. Most importantly, Ms. Benzel said, they gave residents hope and listened to their tear-filled stories.

“I’d never done anything like that; never seen anything like that,” said Sharon Smith, 21, a second-year student at Landmark College. “It looked like a war zone, a third world country. They don’t show on the news just how bad it is. I’m glad we were able to help.”

In all, nine students — Aaron Kahn-Bork, Sharon Smith, Jessica Brockway, Parry Kring, Elan Varella, Katie Godowski, Cole Moriarty, Jared Roberts, and Pat Hamel — along with Ms. Benzel and fellow Landmark College chaperone Matt Brown, the College’s assistant director of campus security, donated time, energy, and effort to those in need. The trip was made possible in part by Jared Roberts’ parents, who offered their Port Washington, NY home as a place for the group  to stay while it did its relief work.

Highlights from the Sandy Relief effort, produced entirely by the students, are included in the slideshare below.

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today Landmark College is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with learning differences including dyslexia, ADHD, and ASD, and draws students from all over the world for its innovative educational model, designed to help all students who learn differently become confident, self-empowered, and independently successful learners.

For more information about this or other Landmark news and events, contact Justin T. Martin, Director of Marketing Communications, at or by calling 774.275.9113.

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