The National September 11 Memorial & Museum has recently increased efforts to build on a base of dedicated volunteers as the nonprofit prepares for the opening of its memorial museum.
A group that’s supporting the effort is the City University of New York’s Service Corps. CUNY has recently sent 13 volunteers to the 9/11 Memorial, with each making a 24-week commitment.
One of the students is Andrei Stump of John Jay College, one of seven CUNY schools with students participating in the program.
“On my very first day I had to help a family member find a name on the plaza, and help take an impression of the name of their loved one. It was very emotional for me as well,” Stump said. Each of the student volunteers have committed to 12 hours per week. Students have 14 hours of classroom study before being placed into volunteer opportunities throughout the city.
“The service corps program started after Sandy. We wanted to not only help the city recover but connect our best students with real experiences in meaningful places such as the 9/11 Memorial,” said Rachel Stephenson, director of CUNY Service Corps. “We prepare them for sensitive situations such as this. They are expanding their knowledge of what happened here and increasing their skills for future employment.”
Stephenson sees the upcoming opportunities in the museum as another great vehicle for their students. The 9/11 Memorial is currently recruiting for visitor services volunteers and museum docents.
“The CUNY students just started a few weeks ago and we already see that they have infused our program with energy,” said Danilo Minnick, volunteer services manager for the 9/11 Memorial.
By Anthony Guido, 9/11 Memorial Communications Manager