College students creating a SPARK

SPARK table at an SGA event

SPARK table at an SGA event

Katie Loudermilk

Katie Loudermilk

SPARK table at an SGA event

Katie Loudermilk, Staff

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College clubs are vital to the average student’s life. They provide more than extra help in the community, they bring together diverse students with common interests. Members of the SPARK Club at the Plant City campus inform and engage the community about those with or without disabilities. This club is known for the commitment to empower students with disabilities and the passion that goes behind their work.

Taylor Corder, the current President of SPARK, has been part of the club since 2014. “I joined because I have a cousin with Asperger’s and I wanted to be an advocate for him,” explained Taylor, “I decided to go for the president position this year because it was open and I was able to expand on the SPARK legacy with my ideas for the future of the club.”

Throughout the years, club members have taken part in mentoring, Special Olympics, partnering with “Best Buddies” and participating in HCC events each semester. Every year they participate in Disney- associated marathons. The Disney marathons are usually chosen because of the different kinds of benefits for multiple foundations.

On Jan. 7, the club members left at 3 a.m., to travel to Orlando to volunteer at the Disney Marathon for the awareness of Leukemia. “We went to this marathon to show the community who and what the SPARK Club is and how we support our community,” explains Evelyn Vidal, a new club member. The volunteers joined different stations to pass out water to the runners. “It was obvious that the runners were very appreciative of the extra support based off of the smiles on their faces,” recalled Vidal.

This club also benefits students within the college who have disabilities. Once a semester the club hold Learning Luncheons and invites all students to enjoy a free meal while listening to guest speakers. In the past, students spoke about their experiences with disabilities. Some brought in their service dogs to give the audience an idea of how they interact with the world.

Clubs fuel the diversity of each college campus. They are the core of giving the campuses character and a strong voice in the community. Each semester is filled with new students with drive to impact the community through their clubs. SPARK has been one of those clubs who offer those opportunities.

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College students creating a SPARK