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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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SBCC Nursing Program joins Jodi House for Day of Caring

Courtesy Art
Courtesy Art

The annual Day of Caring bloomed into a partnership between City College’s Vocational Nursing Program and the brain injury support center Jodi House.

Jodi House is a non-profit service that works with community members in Santa Barbara. They provide daily activities to help people who have suffered head injuries to regain as much function as possible.

City College contributed with 400 volunteering staff and students for United Way’s 23rd annual Day of Caring, which resulted in the college being number one for providing the most volunteers.

City College’s Campaign Coordinator, Liza Lopez’s task during Day of Caring was to match each volunteer group with the different non-profits working sites that needs help.

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“It’s a great opportunity, not only for Santa Barbara City College,” said Lopez. “But for individuals, groups and organizations to join in and volunteer for these four hours.”

She said that when she found Jodi House, she knew that it would be perfect for the students of the Vocational Nursing Program.

The Vocational Nursing Program is a small program with one group of students at a time that are introduced every 18 months.

Director of the Vocational Nursing Program, Ann Marie Kopeikin and her nursing students went to their assigned work site at Jodi House. There they met with Susan Cass, the Program Coordinator of Jodi House.

Kopeinik thought Jodi House seemed like the perfect clinical site for her students to volunteer during their third semester. She said that when she looks for clinical placements in the community she bases it from what her students study and the experiences they could gain.

“By third semester they’re going to have the skill sets to work with the head injured clients,” said Kopeikin. “They’ll have had that didactic, and actually be able to take theory that they’ve learned in class and apply it to practice.”

Kopeikin said she discussed the possible partnership with Cass, who loved the idea. The process to have the clinical site approved has started and Kopekin hopes that the current students involved in the nursing program can volunteer at Jodi House next fall.

Nancy Cedillo is one of 38 students of the Vocational Nursing Program who considered nursing as a career after she cared for her brother after surgery. She was one of the volunteers from City College and will also volunteer at the Jodi House during her third semester.

“I like the feeling you get when you help someone out,” said Cedillo. “That you can make a difference in their life.”

Rose Ponce was another volunteer from City College during Day of Caring. Ponce said she noticed the difference Day of Caring made for Jodi House to have people caring and volunteering for them.

“It was important for me to be there because it represented the nursing program,” said Ponce. “It was nice that the program itself went there, because serving the community is a major thing for me.”

Kopeikin said that it is incredibly important for the program to applicant theory into practice for her students. She said that Day of Caring enabled the program to start off by helping Jodi House on the outside to help Jodi House on the inside.

“They’re helping the [clients], and these clients are helping my students to see the actual needs and get the experience,” said Kopeikin. “It’s going to be fun.”

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