In The Light: Darcy Richardson



Darcy Richardson, a double major in English and education, has discovered what matters most to her: lending a hand to those in need.

“I know it sounds trite,” she says, “but I really love helping people.”

A COVE Public Achievement Intern, Richardson considers her work with the Center for Outreach Volunteerism and Education to be one of the most defining parts of her Colgate experience.

“We’re trying a new approach,” says Richardson, “which encourages people to come up with community service ideas for themselves.” In the long run, these become the most meaningful projects for both the volunteer and those in need.

Over fall break, while most of us will be relaxing with friends and family, Richardson and several other Colgate students are traveling to Lafayette, Louisiana, to help the victims recuperate from the devastations of Hurricane Katrina. Richardson is also responsible for posters around campus attempting to illuminate “the issues that have come to light as a result of Hurricane Rita, such as racial poverty and the state of our environment.”

A COVE leader of the Madison Group Home Mentors effort, Richardson has found joy in helping Colgate students become “role models” for the 11 teens placed in the group home because of behavioral and/or familial problems.

“We are striving to relate to them,” says Richardson, “and in order to do so, we are trying to incorporate other Colgate groups into the mentorship program and to also expand the program.”

This past summer, Richardson conducted research with the Upstate Institute, particularly working with the Madison County Department of Social Services. Richardson’s research on Child Care, which she conducted this summer, was later consulted by a number of different New York counties – a testament to the undeniable necessity of the work she is doing.

Says Richardson, “This paper wasn’t just something to hand in to class to get a grade – what I wrote had meaning outside of myself.”

Indeed, this seems to have inspired Richardson all the more, as this year she is embarking on an independent study on child welfare, in which she will be conducting a survey of 70+ families in the Madison County area.

“I love to write and research,” says Richardson, who finds pleasure in writing grants for those in need. The first one she ever wrote, for a grant-writing class, was approved and gave 2,800 dollars to a family who needed to expand its home as a result of having a physically disabled child.

An avid club volleyball player as well as a novice rower at Colgate, Richardson insists that we all “relax and let things come along that are worthwhile.” As one spans through Richardson’s days, it seems that she does everything but relax.