Students volunteer through summer

IUS Horizon

Valerie Allen
Valerie Allen
Students from IU Southeast found plenty to do during the summer by volunteering on and off campus. IU Southeast held many events over the summer for students and faculty to give back to the community.

On July 17, the Children’s Center and Student Educators Association distributed about 140 bags with school supplies to children going back to school in the region.

The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity sponsored the American Red Cross blood drive on campus, which was on June 10, surpassing the goal of 15 units with a collection of 22 units.

Also, the Multicultural Student Union volunteered to represent IU Southeast at the annual Indiana Black Expo on July 18. Students spoke to the attendees of the expo about the opportunities at various IU campuses along with other regional students.

Students also volunteered independently this summer with various organizations to help locals and gain knowledge not always found in the classroom.

Morgan Pressel, nursing senior, continued her work with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kentuckiana during the summer.

Volunteering her time with Big Brothers Big Sisters since her senior year of high school, Pressel said giving her time freely without monetary gain helped her find more confidence. It also gave her the feeling of being a well-rounded person.

Pressel said she credits the experience for giving her a chance to interact with children.

“I’ve gained a lot of respect for parents and teachers,” she said. “I’ve learned what it means to be a role model.”

Pressel said being a part of the Sigma Kappa sorority allowed her opportunities to volunteer on campus such as with homecoming and The Memory Walk.

Sarah Dahlheim, elementary education junior, was a counselor at Camp Rivervale in Mitchell, Ind .

Dahlheim was inspired by her time at camp to volunteer at the camp counseling the sixth grade girls.

The experience enriched Dahlheim’s education from IU Southeast with the firsthand experience of helping children.

“It is an experience that will help when I get into teaching,” Dahlheim said.

Dale Brown, secondary education sophomore, volunteered at The Falls of the Ohio this summer. He said he has been volunteering there since January with a collective 150 hours volunteering, surpassing the minimum of 50 hours per year required by the park.

Brown’s choice in organizations to volunteer for was an easy decision.

“I’ve always liked visiting parks,” he said.

Brown also said his hobbies such as bird watching and geology allows him to bring knowledge while helping students learn.

Teaching kids about geology and history has helped Brown keep his school work fresh in his mind.

“I get the opportunity to be around kids and hear the questions they ask, or what they are interested in,” Brown said.

He has also volunteered with the Non-Traditional Student Union. He said the group makes him feel more comfortable.

Seuth Chaleunphonh, dean of Campus Life, discussed volunteering benefits

“There’s a lot of learning that comes with volunteering,” Chaleunphonh said.

The perks of volunteering can be The Presidential Volunteer Award earned after 100 hours of volunteering, but also gaining the habit of helping those in need.

“It’s more about someone developing a mindset to look for someone else’s needs,” Chaleunphonh said, “You don’t have to have a counseling degree to spend time with someone.”

Hayley Groves, Volunteer Programs coordinator, spoke on the emotional benefits of volunteering.

“It benefits your community,” Groves said. “It’s all cyclical. It benefits you by getting connected.”

Students looking for a reason or opportunity to become involved in a charity or organization need not look far from campus.

Students can sign up for volunteering on the IUS Web site and are assisted in finding an organization to volunteer at that pertains to their interests and majors.

The IUS Volunteering Program is also hosting the baseball-themed Volunteer Internship Fair on Sept. 16. It is an event to help students and others interested in finding an opportunity to volunteer along with gaining internship experience.

Staff Writer