Helpers Club to raise scholarship funds for students with learning disabilities

Amanda Larch, for The Parthenon

The Helpers Club is selling raffle tickets for a Marshall-themed quilt before the university’s homecoming game this Saturday to raise money for scholarships for students in Marshall’s Higher Education for Learning Problems (H.E.L.P.) Center.

The day of the homecoming game, club members will be around the stadium and tailgating areas with tickets for sale. Sales will start at 10 a.m. and conclude at 2 p.m. A single ticket costs $5 and five tickets are $20. Tickets can also be purchased at Myers Hall or by calling 304-696-5220. The actual raffle for the quilt, made by Nancy McCormick, will take place on Nov. 11 during another Marshall football game.

The Helpers Club, supervised by Amy Jones-Burdick, a psychologist and life coach at the H.E.L.P. Center, is a club for Marshall students with learning disabilities.

The H.E.L.P. program is among the top 10 in the nation, and its goal is to encourage and support college students with learning disabilities to succeed and graduate. The program provides tutoring and test preparation.

Two weeks ago, graduate student Clay Stephens and the Helpers Club went hiking. 

“When I took them on the hike, I’d never really seen them speak,” Stephens said. “Once they got out there in the mountains, they were interacting with each other; they were making plans to hang out. I think what we’re doing is just absolutely fantastic for these kids. They need it.”

Jones-Burdick and Stephens said they also plan to take the club to the Pumpkin House in Kenova, carve pumpkins and decorate Myers Hall for homecoming this month.

“Since Marshall is more of a regional university, it’s tough to make friends,” Jones-Burdick said. “I love my kids. I like when they’re happy and able to get out, even for the couple hours that we spend with them has been great. It’s a win-win situation. It’s such a great program. I am so proud to work here.”

Amanda Larch can be contacted at [email protected]