New student organization provides community service opportunities

Members+of+The+Reach+Out+serving+breakfast+at+the+Center+of+Hope+in+Ravenna+Saturday%2C+April+13.

Members of The Reach Out serving breakfast at the Center of Hope in Ravenna Saturday, April 13.

Jessica Goodwin

Starting your very own student organization can be intimidating and hard, but like The Reach Out’s founder Gabrielle Dancy says “You can’t complain if you aren’t going to fix the problem.” So when she wasn’t getting want she wanted out of other student organizations, she started her own.

Dancy, a sophomore fashion merchandising major and president of The Reach Out, started the organization early in the spring semester. She said she started the organization because she found that it was difficult to find community service opportunities on her own.

“I was involved with other organizations on campus, but I felt like they didn’t have as strong of a service component that I was looking for,” Dancy said.

Dancy said starting the organization wasn’t very hard, the hard part was finding people who were just as motivated as she was to be involved. According to the Kent State student organization registration website, you must complete a total of five steps to becoming an approved student organization. One step includes having a minimum of five officers that all meet the following criteria:

  • Student must be enrolled in at least eight undergraduate or six graduate credit hours.

  • Student must maintain a cumulative grade point average of 2.25.

  • Student must have passed at least six or more hours in the proceeding semester.

  • Student cannot be on semester warning or academic probation.

Dancy explained how finding those five was really the only difficult part of starting her organization. Other things like the name, The Reach Out, came to her pretty easily.

“I was sitting at home with my friend, and I was telling him about my idea to start a service organization. We were throwing around names and he said something like ‘The Outreach’, and that’s when I was like ‘well what about The Reach Out’?”

The Reach Out has already been involved with many community service projects in and around the Kent State campus. They have helped stock food for the Center for Hope in Ravenna. They have helped sort and stock clothing at Goodwill. Most recently they visited the Lebron James Family Foundation I Promise school in Akron for Kent State’s Day of Service where they helped organize supplies for the school’s construction.

Kylah Carter, a sophomore fashion merchandising major and member of The Reach Out explains her favorite part of participating in this organization as “the sense of community we’ve built being around each other and going to various service events is so much more fun being around people whose company you enjoy while also being able to help the community.”

Dancy also adds her favorite part as seeing the joy that we bring to other people and knowing that what they are doing is helping others.

“It is a lot of work starting and keeping an organization afloat and active, but it is worth it when we do service and get to meet different people and impact different people’s lives,” Dancy said.

Students interested in joining The Reach Out can contact them on Instagram, where they also post information about their upcoming projects and open meetings.

Jessica Goodwin covers charity. Contact her at [email protected]