Westchester Community College Collegium Earns Volunteer New York! Award

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From left, are Volunteer New York! board member Caryl Weinstein (Rye) with Collegium members Marcia Gellert (Yonkers), Clare Ahern (Valhalla), Ed Pressman (Eastchester) and David Oestreich (Scarsdale).
From left, are Volunteer New York! board member Caryl Weinstein (Rye) with Collegium members Marcia Gellert (Yonkers), Clare Ahern (Valhalla), Ed Pressman (Eastchester) and David Oestreich (Scarsdale). Photo Credit: Contributed

MOUNT PLEASANT, N.Y. -- The Westchester Community College Collegium recently received an award for volunteerism at Volunteer New York!'s annual Volunteer Spirit Awards. 

The Westchester Community College Collegium received the Education & Literacy Award, presented by Reader's Digest, at Volunteer New York!'s 34th annual Volunteer Spirit Awards on April 24 at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Tarrytown.

"Founded in 2004 by Edith Litt and a small group of volunteers to provide mature adults with intellectually stimulating classes as well as an environment for discussion and social interaction, The Collegium for Lifelong Learning is a natural outgrowth of Westchester Community College and its mission to provide accessible, high quality education to a diverse community," representatives said in a release. "The Collegium is staffed by passionate volunteers, and the instructors include current and retired WCC faculty, other college faculty, and experts in their field who want to foster learning with new and exciting subjects."

David Oestreich and Clare Ahern lead 10 board members and more than 20 other volunteers to put the program into place, contacting instructors, designing programming, writing brochures and registering students, according to the release. 

"As valuable as the Collegium’s curriculum is for offering a positive learning environment for the participants, participation also provides a venue for establishing new friendships, welcoming newcomers to the area and reducing isolation that can occur from the loss of a spouse, partner, or family member," representatives said in the release. As a community for its students and volunteers, it actively forges connections to help weather life’s challenges and celebrations."

Roughly 220 students enrolled in the program in 2013, with 48 different course offerings, according to the

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