October 2022 Newsletter


Hey, Highlanders! The end of the year is fast approaching (stop by our office for a countdown!), so we wanted to highlight some fun fall festivities to help you slow down and make the most of the last 59 days of 2023. Read on!

Spotlight: On-Campus Resource

Have you taken advantage of Success Coaching Services yet? Many of our success coaches bring background expertise to their work with MCC students. Dondie Crook is one coach who offers resources and guidance for students who have previously been in foster care. To get connected with her, call 254-299-8226 or email success@mclennan.edu. You can also request a success coach through this online link: https://www.mclennan.edu/successcoaching/request.html 

Spotlight: Off-Campus Resource

Central Texas Youth Services also works with students previously in the foster system with resources. Additionally, they work with anyone aged 18-21 for housing services and nonresidential services for students aged 16-21. The goal of the Transitional Living Program is "to provide stable housing and other services while assisting client in obtaining employment and/or an education to maintain a healthy and productive future through life skills and referrals to community resources." Some of the services provided include case management, assistance with groceries and clothing, bus passes, therapy, and educational assistance.

To get connected, learn more, or find out if you qualify, contact DeDe Gordon at (254) 217-1967 or delena.gordon@centraltexasyouthservices.com.


Shout-out to EVERYONE who made our first Third Thursday Thoroughfare a success! Thanks to Joe Hinojosa + student life for letting us use the SLC, Slow Rise Slice House for the yummy pizza, and all of the Student Engagement division who supported us as we planned TTT! We can’t wait for the next one!

Self-Care Tip

As the weather cools down, make sure you’re getting enough time outside and exercise! I know, I know, there are only a few months of the year when we want to be outside. So take advantage of this weather!

The recommended guideline is 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. That’s 30 minutes, 5 days a week.

You might not think you have time to add exercise into your daily routine, so here are some hacks:

  • If you have a dog, take it on a daily walk–even just 1/4 mile is better than nothing!
  • Park in spots at the back of a lot–on campus, at the grocery store, etc. A little trick to get more steps without sacrificing a lot of time.
  • Climb the stairs instead of using the elevator, if your mobility allows.
I’d encourage you to spend at least 5 minutes outside every day too! The sun has immense benefits for our mental and physical health. Sit outside while your kids play. Do your reading on the front porch. Sit outside between classes. There are lots of sneaky ways to get sunshine!

Easy Recipe

With the cooler weather, I’m craving all the warm comfort food with cozy spices. For this month’s recipe, I chose a dish that uses lentils because, quite frankly, I have a bag of lentils from Paulanne’s Pantry that I have no clue what to do with! So if you find yourself in a similar predicament, I hope you’ll try this recipe with me! 

Lentils are a great source of protein but can also be easily swapped for beans, chickpeas, or meat if that’s your preference. Need any ingredients (including those lentils)? Swing by Paulanne’s for some non-perishable goods, frozen meat, fresh fruit, cheese, and/or milk!

Quick Coconut Lentil Curry

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 6


  • 2 cups uncooked white or brown basmati rice, to serve (or Instant Pot basmati rice)
  • 2 cups brown or green lentils
  • 8 cups chopped leafy greens: spinach, kale, or chard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 13.5-ounce can coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper


  1. Make the rice according to How to Cook Basmati Rice (or Instant Pot Rice).
  2. Place the lentils in a saucepan with 6 cups warm water. Bring to a low boil, then boil for about 20 minutes until tender (taste to assess doneness). Drain, then add a few pinches of salt.
  3. Meanwhile, wash the greens, remove the stems and chop the leaves. (If using prewashed baby spinach, you can skip this step.) In your largest skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the greens and sauté for several minutes until tender and bright green.
  4. When the lentils are done, add them to the skillet with the greens. Over medium-high heat, stir in the coconut milk, Thai red curry paste, tomato paste, kosher salt, and fresh ground black pepper. Cook for a few minutes until heated through and the sauce is thickened.
  5. Taste and add a few pinches of salt if desired. Serve with rice.

NUTRITION   (per 1 serving)

Calories: 568kcal | Carbohydrates: 92.8g | Protein: 22.9g | Fat: 12.9g | Fiber: 10.4g


Shepherd’s Heart:  One distribution in September that served 189 families in McLennan County (46 new households this month!)

Paulanne’s Pantry:  52 Highlanders visited Paulanne’s in September

Waco Transit:  1,428 rides on Waco Transit using the free MCC student fare cards

CREW This Month

Thursday, 11/10, 3–4 pm @ Lot R || Shepherd’s Heart Food Distribution 

Swing by Lot R for FREE food from Shepherd’s Heart! Free and open to anyone in the community!

Thursday, 11/17, 11–1 pm @ SLC || Third Thursday Thoroughfare

Come for free lunch and learn about resources in McLennan County just for college students!

DEI Peer Support Groups for Stress

There’s a group available specifically for music & theater students, and another group open to all. Reach out to the DEI Office at 254-299-8334.

More events are available on the  CREW calendar ! Be sure to save the calendar so you never miss an event!

View past newsletters here:  https://www.mclennan.edu/campus-resource-guide/newsletter.html

*Composed by Emma Cartisano*