There are many people who come to SRAC and for different reasons.
About 6 weeks ago - Mike Sisto came to SRAC. He is graduate of Mansfield University with a History degree, and wondered if we had some work he could do. Even though we told him we only have volunteer work available, Mike has been coming in every week since helping me in the Exhibit Hall, updating exhibits, scanning and preserving items, using our cataloging system, and basically doing the work that any paid staff would be doing for any museum that could afford to pay him.
Just this week we have finished the Lithic Library case, and you can see Mike standing next to the finished exhibit here. We worked on the Spanish Hill case before this. We will continue week after week to update all of our exhibits while allowing Mike to see the unique artifacts and our prehistoric past up close. He is also using actual photos, maps and journals to do this work, and being given assignments to read selected literature that we provide for him. It won't be long before Mike is a local historian himself!
I can't stress enough that here at SRAC, we do what we can for our community. We have helped several students and graduates in research, career choice/development and even helped to try to build experience for resumes by allowing responsible people like Mike to come in and volunteer. But in doing so, SRAC gains so much, because, people like Mike make us all better for having him here with us. He gives us new and fresh ideas and a younger perspective on things we are doing, and I appreciate his help every time he comes in.
As I am writing this - Mike tells me that he is going to consider working at SRAC as long as he can - and that he likes working here - and so it seems to work for him too. So I am happy to say that we will keep Mike around as long as he can continue to take my horrible jokes !
On a more serious note - Mike is looking for a position in the museum/education sector and as sad as I would be to see him go, I have to say that he would be a great addition to any museum or school looking for staff. Let me just say that he is a pleasure to work with and that he works hard everyday he is here.
When there are so many people out of work - I think about those who are continuing to look for employment - and what they are doing with their spare time - - - I just think that Mike is a great example of someone who is using his time wisely. Don't you?