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Robert Garris - Liberty

June 17, 2021

Robert Garris shows collection of “kindness stones” created for the NCCC Liberty Kindness Rock Garden.

Robert Garris shows collection of “kindness stones” created for the NCCC Liberty Kindness Rock Garden.

Sanborn, N.Y. – Niagara County Community College (NCCC) is home to one of forty-seven highly successful Liberty Partnerships Programs throughout New York State. Sponsored by a Department of Education Grant, this program currently serves over 280 students in Niagara County. The Future Leaders Liberty Partnerships Program at NCCC provides year-round college and career planning, mentoring, leadership, service learning, community engagement, wellness, and social/emotional development to students.

During the month of May, students in the program worked on “kindness stones” with the goal of promoting random acts of kindness to recipients by painting and sharing inspirational rocks.  These painted rocks were decorated with inspirational messages, with some being added to the Liberty Kindness Rock Garden on campus at NCCC.  Liberty student Robert Garris was especially moved by the project, showing extra effort and dedication by making over 80 kindness stones.  “I think once I told him how much those rocks can change someone’s day around, especially when they are having a really bad day, he got more into it and understood the reason behind it,” said Robert’s mother Gina.

Community engagement is just one small part of how the Liberty Partnership Program enriches the lives of the youth participants.  The staff of the program helps to provide students and families a foundation for a successful and engaging school experience, through programs that assist them throughout middle and high school.  The ultimate goal is to transition participants into a successful college or career pathway.

This summer, Liberty Partnerships will be hosting free virtual summer camp, including a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) camp, and reading camps for grades 5-12, as well as a self-paced career exploration camp for high school students.  While the camps themselves are being offered virtually, each one will include a field trip for participants.

The Future Leaders Liberty Partnerships Program at NCCC is now enrolling new students in grades 6 through 8 who reside within partner school districts of Niagara Falls, Lockport, and Niagara Wheatfield. Please contact Program Director, Jamie Reid, via email at or by phone at (716) 614-6891 to reserve a spot for your student. This program is free and the educational rewards are many.

Media Contact Information

Sara Harvey
Assistant Director of Public Relations and Event Management
Phone: 716-614-6220