By Peter Becker
HAWLEY - The second annual Human Services Fair was offered at Lackawanna College Lake Region Center, April 30th, with a jump in participation by local agencies and a buffet benefitting a new scholarship fund.
Several students at the community college on the top floor of the Hawley Silk Mill make up the Human Services Assistance Committee. The group conducts special fund-raising or collections to help students and others in need. Last fall they collected for Hurricane Sandy victims on the coast. The committee hosts the fair, and started what they call the "Second Chance Scholarship."
Sunshine Falcone, a second year student who heads the committee, said that they started the scholarship last year to assist a Lackawanna College student who has overcome some serious obstacle.
They just awarded their first scholarship, which totals $500. Douglas Nahogyil, of Tafton, is the recipient. Asked if the scholarship is a help, he affirmed that it does. Of his own experience, he said that he had "hit bottom" but "rebounded more than I thought I could." He said that one must have faith that everything will work out eventually.
Nahogyil is finishing his first year at Lackawanna, in the Liberal Studies program. He hopes to pursue journalism.
Local restaurants and students provided the dinner.
Kim Manoy, who instructs the Social Programs class, said that the Human Services Fair helps students and the general public who attends, to become better acquainted with services in the area, and to explore career possibilities. The Human Services Assistance Committee assists her class. Manoy said she hopes the fair will continue to grow and spread the word about local services to more people.
Along with Falcone, the committee includes Heather Schariest, Nicky McVeigh, Jessica Wendrick and Shannon Guinard. Each of them are graduating this year.
Falcone said 27 organizations participated in this year's fair, up from 19 in 2012. Those listed were Wayne County Drug & Alcohol Commission; Workforce Wayne; Maternal Health; Pike County Habitat for Humanity; Wayne County Job Training; Pike County Job Training; Wayne County CareerLink; NEPA Young Marines; Suicide Prevention; American Cancer Society; United Way of Pike County; Wayne Memorial Hospital; Catholic Social Services; Youth Advocate Program; Wayne Pike Adult Literacy; Community Vocational Services; Pike County Workforce Development Agency; White Mills Fire Department; Little Creek Lodge; American Red Cross and Wayne County Human Services.