Name and contact information for lead presenter
Name of any additional presenters
Service-learning course title
Number of service-learning hours completed with the project
Poster presentation title
Short description of what your service-learning project entailed (ex. The agency you served with and the activities you completed). 150 words max.
Short reflection on what you learned through this service-learning project (ex. Skills you developed, a new understanding of a course concept, a different perspective on the community, etc.). 150 words max.
Short reflection on how your service-learning project impacted the community (ex. Tangible changes you saw in the community or anecdotes that demonstrate how your service work made a difference). 150 words max.
Spring Break will approach soon for Fresno State students, and as you contemplate which beach you would like to visit, please keep in mind you have the ability to have an impact on the community. A week off in the middle of the semester can be the perfect getaway to reduce the stress accumulated throughout the semester. However, for a few days you can choose to focus your energy on a rewarding experience and personal growth.
This year will be the 7th consecutive year of the Alternative Spring Break program, and 30 students were selected to serve with two sites. These students will complete 20-25 community service hours, develop leadership skills through team building and communication, network with students and community organizations, and further personal and professional development. The two teams will work at the following sites:
Every Neighborhood Partnership (March 28 – March 31)
Team members will conduct a morning youth camp facilitating activities such as sports, games, and activities for children and families. In addition, they will participate in park beautifications and graffiti cleanup in neighborhoods.
GRID Alternatives Central Valley (March 30 – April 2)
Students on this team will gain hands–on experience and knowledge in renewable energy as this project will feature the installation of solar panels for two Fresno homes.
It’s inspiring to learn about these Fresno State students who will spend their spring break giving back. Be sure to follow their work through Facebook.
What are you doing for spring break? Will it benefit the community? What other activities will you participate in to engage the community during the spring break?
Sometimes during the crazy life of being a college student (or whatever is making your life crazy) you need to take time and read a children’s book. Trust me, your day could turn out to be better just because you got to escape into a quick, cute story with lots of pictures! I read a children’s book last year that I have since added to my favorite children’s book list. I like this book so much that whenever I give presents to people who are in their earlier years, I give them this book. Why do I love this book? There are two main reasons. First, the artwork in the book just makes me happy. When I look at it, I just go “WOW.” The second reason is because the message of the story still sticks with me, motivating me to keep going, keep trying, and keep serving.
The book is called Giraffes Can’t Dance. The story follows a Giraffe named Gerald whose legs bend in a different way, causing him to have some troubles walking. Each year, all the animals in the jungle come together for a dance party. Gerald always feels so awkward because he tries and tries and he just can’t get the hang of dancing, and all the other jungle animals laugh at him. One night after being completely embarrassed at the dance party, Gerald goes into a clearing in the jungle and looks up to the moon. That’s when his new friend the cricket comes up to him and asks him what is wrong. Gerald says to the cricket with a very sad face that all the other animals say he just can’t dance. That’s when the cricket suggests that maybe Gerald hasn’t found the right music yet. The cricket then plays his violin and suddenly Gerald is the best dancer in the whole jungle. All of his jungle friends come and look in awe over what Gerald can do. Gerald found music that he loved, helping him to become a great dancer.
I think that Gerald’s story of finding his music correlates to me and my service story. When I first came to Fresno State I couldn’t find anywhere to serve that felt right. I kept feeling this way until I found Alternative Spring Break and Saturday Sports! Both these programs had me working with children, playing sports, making art projects, and creating a safe place for kids in the Fresno community to play. I found service work that I could actually do and do a good job at it! I truly felt that not only was I giving back, my service work was giving back to me. I found service work that made my heart smile.
Sometimes you try and try and you just don’t feel like you have found where you need to serve, you feel out of place, you might even begin to think that you can’t even give back at all. But, my friend, that is so not the case – you just haven’t found your music yet! Just like how Gerald found his music, you will find a place to serve and you will thrive. Don’t worry if you haven’t found yours yet, KEEP TRYING! You might be wondering where to start. There is a fabulous resource on campus that can act as your cricket and give you service opportunities that you would have never thought of! Stop by the Richter Center in the Thomas Building, Room 107. I also encourage you to sign up for the by-weekly service newsletter The Epicenter, this resource is filled with all kinds a different opportunities. Try different things out. These two resources can surely get you on your track of finding your service.
Have you found your music that YOU love? Have you ever volunteered or served somewhere that you didn’t expect that you would like, but did? Are you currently serving the community? Have you ever been into the Richter Center?
– Ambassador Ludie Olenchalk
It is that time of year, when decorations are everywhere, holiday music is playing, and food becomes the greatest gift of all. However, I am not talking about the holidays. I am talking about finals week. With finals around the corner and with so many distractions around, it is difficult to stay focused. Here are a few tips to remember while studying for finals:
- Snack while you study.
It is important to eat healthy snacks while you study, not only for your own health but it will also improve your ability to focus.
Although many people pull all-nighters before exams, it is very important to be well rested before a final to better maintain all the information.
- Take Breaks.
It is important to study at your own pace. But to better maintain the information you are learning, study in intervals.
That being said, what study habits will you use to study for finals? What’s your favorite study snack? Are you ready?
[Image Courtesy of SodaHead]
What does it mean to be kind? What are some ways to show kindness? Well, let me tell you what I know about kindness. An act of kindness does not have to be big to be considered great or significant because the smallest acts and gestures could make the biggest difference. I think we could all agree on this. However, how can you do acts of kindness when we do not have time because we work, go to school, and have all these activities going on? I understand that the lack of time is a problem for many people who would like to participate in service efforts. This is one of the reasons why I love the idea of contributing to all kinds of service efforts in a variety of ways in a campaign effort that starts today: Random Acts of Kindness Week (RAK Week).
Random Acts of Kindness Week is taking place November 10 through November 15. Aside from promoting a culture of kindness on our campus, RAK week gives us the opportunity to serve others in a small but impactful way. The acts may be holding the door open to people, paying a compliment to a stranger, or just writing a note to a loved one, etc. There is a million things one can do, but if you need some ideas, you can always visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation website.
Last year was my first year experiencing the effects that a small act of kindness could have on others. I saw people making an interaction with others that were complete strangers instead of being on their phone while waiting in line. Students let the staff and professors know they were appreciated. There were people buying Starbucks or a meal for the person that was behind them in line; kind notes were written and spread; people looked happy and cheerful.
This is just a great and huge service campaign that Fresno State gets to participate in, and we are part of it. We just have to take the initiative to spread kindness.
We have to let fear of the unknown go because “when we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”- The 14th Dalai Lama (1935)
So, with this said, what do you plan to do for your act of kindness? What act of kindness do you do on a daily basis? How could you help spread kindness?
-Ambassador Jazmin De La Torre
Yeah, you read that right: be selfish. Take care of yourself for once. No, I’m not talking about going to the gym regularly or getting your nails done once a week. I’m talking about deep, soulful nourishment. The kinda stuff that gets you up every morning with pep in your step and a drive to conquer the world. Isn’t that what coffee is for, you say? No, I’m not referring to a substance that will result in an addiction, interfere with your sleeping patterns, and turn you into every co-worker’s worst nightmare. It’s far more potent than that. In fact, it’ll add years to your life, increase your self-confidence, and keep you fit. Surprise, surprise- it’s volunteering. You knew it would get redirected to this topic somehow, didn’t you?
Volunteering in its most basic form is performing a kind deed without the expectation of an extrinsic reward such as money, awards, recognition, etc. Emphasis on the word “extrinsic.” There’s no shame in volunteering for the sake of purpose, positivity, and/or performance, all of which fall under intrinsic value. We don’t all have to be aiming towards alleviating world poverty to get ourselves to assist at a local food pantry. Sometimes you can give yourself a pass to participate to put a smile on your face. Wanna know what’ll happen if you do? Your smile will be the cause of numerous other grins and giggles.
You are of no good to anyone, especially to yourself, if you’re just going through the daily motions of this thing called life. It’s so easy to get all caught up in our mundane, strenuous lives that we begin to disconnect from our surroundings, leading to some really negative thoughts about ourselves and those around us. And as we all know, bad thoughts pave the way for bad actions. Moral of the story:
What cause(s) do you donate your time to? How do you feel after participating at a voluntary event?
[Image via Caring Choices]
The Richter Center Ambassador team traveled to Portland, Oregon last week to present at the 16th Annual Continuums of Service Conference. Six of us made the trip and delivered a student-led discussion of ways to increase the impact of student volunteers at institutions of higher education. My fellow Ambassadors Alexi Kimura, Song Vang, Paulina Flores, Emily Hentschke, Amanda de Lima and I presented The Richter Center Ambassadors: A Framework for Recruiting and Retaining Student Leaders to a packed conference room. Two of our peers from the Richter Center S.E.R.V.E. Committee – Oshea Carter and Bianca Mancilla supported us from the audience.
We all found the conference to be very beneficial as we were able to learn about all the other awesome things going on in the world of community service in higher education.
We are already making plans for presenting at the 17th Annual Continuums of Service Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii in April of 2014.
Visit the Washington Campus Compact website to see conference highlights and a list of the presentations.
If you are interested in what the Ambassadors work to achieve at Fresno State and wish to further your leadership skills and commitment to service, please consider applying for one of the Richter Center student leadership positions. The S.E.R.V.E. committee plans and coordinates service events for Fresno State. The Reflection Facilitators lead a meaningful reflection of the days’ work at the various one-day service events held throughout the academic year. And the Ambassadors, of course, promote service work to the Fresno State community and serve as liaisons between students and the Richter Center. Applications can be obtained at fresnostaterca.com/recruitment/ and must be turned in by Wednesday, May 1st.
The Richter Center Ambassadors are at it again! In a few short weeks a group of six Ambassadors will travel to the 16th annual Continuums of Service Conference in Portland. In February, we received the good news that we would have the opportunity to present at the conference, the theme of which is ‘The Engaged Campus: Higher Education for the Public Good’. The COS conference is the largest higher-education community service-learning conference in the United States and the we are very excited to present a 75-minute interactive talk entitled The Richter Center Ambassadors: A Framework for Recruiting and Retaining Student Leaders.
The Ambassador team is also very excited to learn about the new trends and best-practices in community engagement and service learning so that we can bring these ideas back to campus and become even more effective leaders and champions of service. Please wish us luck and, if you happen to be in the Portland area, consider stopping by the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront hotel, Salon B, at 3:45 on Thursday, April 25th to see us in action.
If you are a Fresno State student and you are particularly interested in the work we are doing as Ambassadors (including our travel opportunities) then be sure to stop by the Recruitment Mixer this Friday, April 19th at 3:00 PM in Library, room 3212. Learn more about recruitment here.