As college students at Shippensburg University we spend a large portion of our time worrying about how to best prepare ourselves for life after graduation.
From taking the right classes to internships and clubs, we’re prepared to do whatever it takes to better help ourselves, but what about helping others?
One way to impact both the campus and the Shippensburg community is to meet with the university’s Office of Community Engagement. There students are given individualized assistance with finding and choosing a service event or organization that is in need of a few helping hands.
“We focus on connecting students,” said Javita Thompson, director of First Year Experience and Community Engagement. A large part of the program is learning more about the students so that they can be better paired with an organization or service event that best suits both their interests and their personal needs.
“People start talking and we start connecting,” said Thompson. By focusing on making lasting relationships between students and local organizations the Office of Community Engagement is able to keep students motivated enough to help.
“It all seems overwhelming,” sophomore Cassandra Root said. “I’m not sure where to begin.”
Deciding to volunteer whether it is for a class or just as a way to give back can have a positive impact when it comes to a student’s overall college experience.
According to Thompson, students who spend their time volunteering while in school are able to better hone their skills learned in the classroom compared to those who do not participate in service activities and events.
Those who volunteer are also able to try out their “soft” skills or “people” skills that they would not normally get the chance to work on if not for their participation in service activities.