By LIZ MOORE, Ranger Reporter:
AC students are putting down their textbooks to give the community a helping hand. By volunteering their time out of class, students say they’re making an impact.
“It also just makes you a better person, and makes you feel more connected to your community,” said Clarissa Clifford, a biology major.
Volunteering allows students to boost their resumes, or even earn scholarships in some cases. Future employers or admissions officers for colleges will look at volunteer work as a huge factor.
“Most volunteer places have scholarships you can apply for just because you volunteer,” said My Nguyen, a biology major. “It creates a better opportunity to gain connections.”
While some students only volunteer to boost resumes or earn extra credit, some enjoy it outside of that. Volunteering for a grade or a resume can be a doorway into students giving back on their own time.
“I felt that it was kind of interesting when I was a college student that we would be required to do community service and volunteerism, because that’s more like being volun-told,” said Lesley Ingham, Badger Hearts faculty adviser.
“In my junior and senior year (of high school) I volunteered because it looks good, but as time passed by I enjoy myself doing it so it become part of me,” said Nguyen.
There are many opportunities to volunteer around the community and several ways to get involved, even on campus.
The Badger Hearts club is centered on volunteering, and raises money every year to give back to foster youth.
The Food Pantry is always accepting donations, and some classes even give extra credit if students donate food.
While there is nothing wrong with only volunteering every once in awhile, it takes a lot of endurance to volunteer for years.
“If you just swoop into the Evelyn Rivers Christmas project and have a good time, that’s one experience, that’s just a snippet,” said Ingham. “But the drudgery of volunteering long term… you really have to love it to stick with it. You really have to love it to continue.”
Clifford said you can just go pick up things that people aren’t always given, but are necessities to life, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and hygiene products. Making them feel more human can make a world of difference.
According to Ingham, what you do for others, you also do for yourself. “You don’t grow until you get out of your comfort zone,” she said.