Giving back in more than one way

To thunderous applause and cheers from the students and staff of Moreland Arts and Health Sciences Magnet, Great Lakes employees Nick Anderson, second from left, Carrie Hansen, middle, and Ann Scott presented Principal Mark Quinn with a check at an assembly on Jan. 27. (Hannah Burlingame/Review)
To thunderous applause and cheers from the students and staff of Moreland Arts and Health Sciences Magnet, Great Lakes employees Nick Anderson, second from left, Carrie Hansen, middle, and Ann Scott presented Principal Mark Quinn with a check at an assembly on Jan. 27. (Hannah Burlingame/Review)

Great Lakes Higher Education, a national non-profit student loan servicer, is giving back to local communities in more than one way.

Carrie Hansen, senior sales and marketing strategist, says each year the Great Lakes Eagan office holds a drive with its employees to raise money for the local United Way. Last fall, employees raised $3,643 to be used by United Way to help the community.

Great Lakes writes a check matching the amount raised by the United Way drive to be given to a local school. For the second year in a row, this check went to the Moreland Arts and Health Sciences School in West St. Paul. 

The Eagan office adopted the school three years ago as part of Great Lakes Adopted School Partnership. Principal Mark Quinn says the partnership with Great Lakes really means working together. He says employees of Great Lakes in Eagan have become part of the school.

Hansen says Great Lakes has an interest in helping students "get to college, persist through and graduate."

"The adopt-a-school program is a way for us to get to ... the little seedlings and start to utilize our philanthropy to help them grow with that bigger mission in mind," Hansen says.

At an assembly on Jan. 27, the Great Lakes check was presented to the school, and Moreland students were challenged to read 6,000 books in the month of February. A large portion of Great Lakes' donation will go towards purchasing more books for classroom libraries to reach that goal. Money from the donation also goes toward technology and science.

"We have to make sure we have books at their reading levels, and so really what it is, is having books that are at appropriate reading levels for all the kids in the classroom," Quinn says. 

Hansen says Moreland was adopted because of its proximity to the Eagan office, and 67 percent of its students are eligible for free or reduced-price hot lunches. 

Some of the other programs Great Lakes participates in at Moreland include a book drive, school supply drive and a pen pal program. Roughly 30 to 40 employees from the Eagan office are matched up with Moreland students.

"This is just another wonderful connection for our kids to connect to other adults in the community," Quinn says.

Hannah Burlingame can be reached at 651-748-7824 or hburlingame@lillienews.com

 

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