ICAP, a collaborative service program run by Iowa Campus Compact and AmeriCorps, awards students with a $1,000 education award for completing 300 hours of community service hours in a 12 month period.
“The ICAP program is one of many opportunities for Simpson students to serve their country and their local community while in school,” Bobby Nalean, leadership and service coordinator for CVIL said. “Being involved in service not only benefits communities, but can also help people discover skills and interests they didn’t know they had.”
Junior Allison Lane said that the application process was a little tedious.
“It wasn’t hard, but there was a lot of paper work,” Lane said. “It was a hassle, but once you’re done, you’re good to go.”
There are currently 11 students, ranging from freshmen to seniors, participating in the ICAP program.
“We were fortunate to have enough spots available that everyone who applied was accepted into the program,” Nalean said.
The program is marketed to individuals who may have already been doing service hours for another reason.
“We targeted the needs based and federal work study students who might already be doing some service,” Jim Hayes, associate dean and director of CVIL, said. “We targeted those who would had applied for a Wesley Service Scholarship, since they already had to do 80 hours or service, that is a good start on 300, and we also sent out a general e-mail.”
There are not many restrictions on where the service hours can be done.
“Participants can volunteer anywhere in the state of Iowa, and outside of the state if it is a project coordinated by Simpson.” Nalean said. “The goal is to get young Iowans volunteering in their communities.”
There are many options for programs participants can become involved with to complete their hours.
“They have been really random,” Lane said. “I’m [involved] in Big Brother Big Sister, Heart Connection in Des Moines and an after school program at the middle school here in Indianola.”
The award, given after the 300 hours are completed, is for students to put towards their education.
“It is not just money, it is an education award that lasts up to seven years,” Hayes said. “It can be applied towards the student’s education, such as loans, or graduate school.”
As long as the scholarship is used for educational reasons, there aren’t many restrictions on how the money can be used.
“One of the students is going on a study abroad trip,” Hayes said. “[She] is hoping that she doesn’t have to take out a loan, but can instead use the money from ICAP.”
Balancing time can be a problem for some students, and finding the time to complete 300 hours of service is another aspect of time management.
“It’s hard to balance academic work and get the hours done,” Lane said. “But it is a nice break from school work.”
Getting a break is not the only reason that Lane enjoys being a part of ICAP.
“This may sound cheesy,” Lane said. “I enjoy the really good feeling you get from helping others.”