The Community Service Opportunities Fair, held January 23rd, was a great event! Fifty-six community benefit agencies were in attendance and students took time out of their day to walk around the different booths and learn about current community service opportunities available to them. The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement had a booth along with the Picture the Change Campaign put on by your Richter ambassadors. The Richter Center team leads the campus in finding ways to serve and Picture the Change is a student run campaign to promote community service awareness on campus and throughout our community. Richter Center Ambassadors encourage and challenge you as Fresno State students to create meaningful goals to serve in your community. Most importantly, the Ambassadors and the Richter Center are here to help you find ways to engage in the community. If you couldn’t make it to the fair, come by The Richter Center on campus in the Thomas Building, Room 107 or check out our website at http://www.fresnostate.edu/cesl to find out how you can start serving today!
The Ambassador team is back and stronger than ever! We are excited for all that this fall will bring for our campus and our community. We have many awesome service opportunities, events, and posts coming up, so make sure to keep an eye on our blog!
-The Fresno State Ambassadors
The 15th annual Continuums of Service conference was held in Seattle. The Ambassadors presented a poster on one of the projects they worked on this year, and also used the opportunity to get new ideas from other presenters.
Last week several of the ambassadors attended 15th annual Continuums of Service Conference. We all walked away with new ideas and resources that we hope to use in order to better serve the campus and its students. For me though, the most valuable point I took away from this gathering came from the wise words of Eric Liu, an author and one of the keynote speakers.
He said, “Society becomes how we behave.” As I began to think about this, I realized how fundamental an idea it is. We all know this quote to be true instinctively and can see evidence of this repeated throughout the history of mankind and in our everyday lives.
In the Fresno community, we have a great opportunity. As more people are getting involved there are an increasing number of ways to put our time and talents to use in order to make a positive impact. These words will be a source of encouragement for me in the last few weeks of the semester and the months of summer to follow. I hope that some of you will also find this quote inspiring and keep it in mind as we conclude this academic year and move into the next!
– Ambassador Kayla
Dennis Padilla, an EOP counselor, helping a student during academic advising week.
Whether we like it or not, class registration is around the corner and trying to figure out our class schedule is always a hard task to accomplish. If you are in need of help, there is a place to get it.
Other than being a Richter Center Ambassador, I also work as a peer mentor for the Educational Opportunity Program in the Student Success Services office. In this office you can find help in academic advising, tutorial services, learning skill workshops, counseling, career planning, financial aid follow-up and social activities. You don’t have to be an EOP student to have these services available to you. The services are opened to all Fresno State students. All the EOP counselors block a week in each semester close to registration week and they can all be found in the library. They, along with peer mentors, are there all week for at least two hours a day to help students with academic advising. For this service students don’t even have to make an appointment – simply call the office for a schedule, or go into the office in the Joyal Building 224 or call 559-278-1787.
You can find more information about the EOP and its services at http://www.csufresno.edu/eop/.
– Ambassador Val
A student makes her pledge after attending Camp Darfur on March 5th.
Picture the Change photos from Camp Darfur have been posted! To view them, click on “Picture the Change” and select Camp Darfur, or just click here.
To learn more about Picture the Change, click here.
My personal form of advocacy is supporting people with intellectual disabilities by taking part in national events, like Spread the Word to End the Word, which was on March 7, 2012.
When most people think of service, they think of going out and doing things for organizations. They think of serving food to the homeless, or handing out newspapers for Kids Day, or helping revitalize a park, or doing something that benefits people directly. Doing all these things is great, and provides wonderful benefits to the community, but there is another very important form of service out there that many don’t think of: advocacy.
Being an advocate means supporting a cause. Support can mean doing big things, like handing out flyers, putting up posters, and giving speeches. But supporting a cause doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to do big things to make a difference. Doing small things can make you an advocate as well.
For example, I am an advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. I know I can’t do anything huge like petition the government for more rights for intellectually disabled people, and I don’t have time to hand out flyers on campus or organize awareness events. But I can talk about the disabled population with people who have questions, helping to break down the stereotypes and misinformation that many have about what intellectual disability is and how it affects people. And I can help by participating in national awareness days, like Spread the Word to End the Word, an event aimed at stopping the use of the word “retarded” in slang vocabulary. Every little thing I do to help support people with intellectual disabilities is considered advocacy because I am helping raise awareness about the issue.
A lot of you might already be advocates without realizing it. If you support a cause, or feel strongly about an issue, you are being an advocate. It is a form of service because you’re donating your time to support a cause, no matter how big or small.
What issues do you advocate for? In what ways are you an advocate?
– Ambassador Becky
Your Richter Center Ambassadors, pumped and ready to present the first ever Champions of Service workshop. As you can see, Ambassador Ryan is very excited to begin!
Two weeks ago, the Richter Center Ambassadors launched a new program that we’ve been developing all semester long! The program is called Champions of Service, and features a workshop and presentation that focus on inspiring students to champions of service in their own communities.
I had the privilege of being a part of the team that delivered the first presentation/workshop to Central High School in Fresno. About 15 students showed up after school to hear what we had to say and participate in our activities. We started by sharing a little bit about what we do at the Richter Center and what our roles are as Ambassadors. Next, we talked about why community service is important, some of the internal and external benefits that come from being a volunteer and some of the ways to get involved at Fresno State as well as other college campuses. After our brief presentation, we jumped into our workshop time!
The goal of the workshop was to help students learn how to be an effective volunteer in their community. We encouraged the students to think about what qualities make up a good volunteer (big heart, commitment, imagination, etc.) and what the strengths/weaknesses of their communities are. We concluded the workshop with a short brainstorming session during which we allowed the students to bounce ideas for their own community service projects off us.
It was really exciting to be a part of this program, and I hope to continue being involved as we work to bring the program to more high schools in the surrounding area, and hopefully even classes offered here at Fresno State!
– Ambassador Ryan