Freshman education and psychology double-major Jen Adams is already carving her niche here at Geneseo.
As a member of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Adams formulated, and made possible, the idea of feeding at least 58 poor families in the Geneseo area.
Adams was born and raised in Texas until sixth grade when she lived in Vermont briefly. Her family returned to Texas before heading to Hamburg, N.Y., where she now lives.
In high school, Adams was involved in DECA, a business club. The group composed a 30-page paper, which they presented in competitions against other schools. They competed all over the country, including Florida, California and Tennessee. Her sophomore year, Adams and her team's ad campaign made the top 16 internationally - the farthest they had ever made it.
Adams said she chose Geneseo because of the gorgeous scenery and the challenging academics. Arriving at the school, she found the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and is "extremely thankful" for the welcoming group. Looking back, Adams acknowledged that her first few weeks would have been awkward without them.
This fall, the IVCF wanted to help out the Geneseo area when they discovered that poverty level was found to be higher than expected. "I was blessed enough to come up with this idea [to hold a food drive]," Adams said. Her high school typically did a food drive around Thanksgiving, but nothing of this size or extent.
The first step was to get the rest of IVCF on board. "I couldn't have done this alone," Adams stated, explaining how much she appreciated the support she had from the college (clubs and Greek life), individuals and family.
Adams spoke with Wegmans to place the large order of food. IVCF picked up $500 worth of non-perishable food and 32 turkeys. They currently are undecided about what they will do with $500 left over, although Adams said it will probably be given as a donation. The food will be going to the Geneseo Food Bank, which serves 60-75 families on average.
The money that went toward the food drive came from many sources. IVCF raised $1,477 and they asked organizations to adopt a family for $10. Some organizations went above and beyond raising money on their own, such as the Black Student Union which raised $117. Other groups included small sets of IVCF members, the Anthropology Club and the School of Education.
Individuals also took the initiative to donate on their own and members of IVCF spoke in classrooms for loose donations. Canisters were present at all IVCF events for money collection.
Adams has never been in charge of such a large production. She was "completely astounded" that this came together, especially because she was never involved in her high school's food drive.
The drive began in October and was completed in a short period of two weeks. Adams said it took patience, perseverance and genuine passion to accomplish, and wishes to make the drive an annual event.
With this project completed, Adams can focus on her new pastime: horseback riding. She has always been around horses but never rode until her friends convinced her to try this semester. Adams also gets her adrenaline rush by snowboarding and being a registered EMT, but her favorite hobby is playing catch.
Adams finds support in her faith, as Christianity is her comfort when she is stressed. She said is already enjoying Geneseo because there is an "atmosphere of respect" and thinks the food drive would have been impossible without it.