FITCHBURG – Montachusett Regional Technical School (Monty Tech) emphasizes community service as part of a holistic preparation of students for college and career paths.
One of the hallmarks of the high school’s vocational programs is its commitment to giving back to area communities. Students from a variety of trades work on projects such as repairing municipal property, maintaining municipal vehicles, and building canoes for local sports programs.
Many Monty Tech stores also offer free or discounted services to local residents. Whether it’s providing subsidized veterinary care, meals for the elderly, or affordable car service, the school views helping the residents of north-central Massachusetts as a fundamental commitment. Students learn to see their growing expertise not just as a career path, but as a tool to strengthen their communities.
One of Monty Tech’s best-known partnerships is building homes with Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts. Through this program, students from the school’s electrical, carpentry, plumbing, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) programs help build homes for families in need.
“Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts is proud to partner with Monty Tech instructors and students for our home projects,” said Carolyn Read, executive director of Habitat for Humanity North Central Massachusetts in a March 3 press release. February. “Together we have completed three houses over the past two years and are currently working on a fourth. The partnership means families can come home much faster and we can strengthen, stabilize and support more families. low income in our local communities.
“Participating in Habitat for Humanity has been a great way for me to gain experience and learn new job skills,” said Thomas Agnelli, a senior carpentry student from Monty Tech and Gardner.
Walking through the halls of Monty Tech, visitors can often find posters promoting various donation campaigns. This school year, efforts have included drives for food, clothing, blankets, sports equipment and toys for toddlers. Some campaigns have been led by particular student organizations such as the Leo Club at Monty Tech, while others are led by particular professional programs.
Students work together with local organizations to ensure that donations reach their recipients. A recent clothing drive benefited a Fitchburg agency, Our Father’s House, and a blanket drive was coordinated to benefit locally resettled Afghan families.
With more than a quarter of Monty Tech students classified as economically disadvantaged, the school also recognizes the needs within its own community. Counseling service, Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program and catering staff spearheaded this year’s holiday dinner basket programs. For Thanksgiving, 32 Monty Tech families received special meal deliveries.
During the winter break, 46 Monty Tech families received special meal deliveries, as well as gifts and extra groceries for the extended school vacation. Both of these meal programs were aided by students from the school’s business technology program, as well as staff and faculty throughout the school.
“We are so fortunate to work with such a supportive group of educators who recognize that times are tough right now and who want to get involved in something that makes life a little brighter for our students,” said Kathleen Guidance Office Staff Hanson and Alicia Quinn. who helped lead meal drive efforts.
Students also feel fortunate to be involved in service work. Elaina Sarsfield, a Monty Tech junior and health professions student from Fitchburg, serves as vice president of the school’s Leo Club.
Asked about her involvement, she said, “The Leo Club has provided me with many opportunities to do meaningful community service. The club is always open to new and creative ways to help the community. Over the past two months, we have provided people in need with meals as well as coats and blankets. We have also worked with school guidance counselors to provide struggling students with stress relief kits. These service projects have ongoing impacts not only on the school but also on the surrounding communities, and being a part of them is something I am very grateful for.