Learning Community Volunteers Prepare for Spirits in the Gardens Event

October 29th, 2020

The FOCUS Learning Community visited Reiman Gardens to help prepare for its “Spirits in the Gardens” event.

Audrey Kennis, retention coordinator for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said students in the Fostering Opportunity and Collaboration through Unity and Scholarship (FOCUS) Learning Community took time to visit and volunteer at Reiman Gardens as part of the groups monthly social event.

“We used stencils on pumpkins to get them ready to be carved,” said Danielle Douglas, a sophomore in animal science from Hazel Crest, Illinois, “and it was a great way to get to know other students in our learning community.”

Gracelynn Maguire, a sophomore in animal science from Mililani, Hawaii, said the 15 students along with other clubs


Danielle Douglas, a sophomore in animal science from Hazel Crest, Illinois.


Gracelynn Maquire, a sophomore in animal science from Mililani, Hawaii.

and volunteers worked to prepare more than 1,000 pumpkins for the garden event.

“I enjoyed this experience because it allowed mentees and mentors to interact with each other while being creative,” said Maguire, who now mentors incoming freshmen. “The purpose of FOCUS is to make sure freshmen are able to successfully transition into college life and provide help when necessary.”

The FOCUS Learning Community started in August 2019 and is a multicultural peer mentorship program designed to support incoming students. The learning community provides academic, social and professional connections to aid in the successful transition to college. Students participate in campus and outreach activities that help them develop a sense of community.