‘It’s a win-win situation’

Cassandra Adams

Students find a way to volunteer

Freshman architecture major Catalina Estrada said that she became interested in volunteering when she saw an informational booth at the Student Center during orientation. Brittany Ankrom | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Catalina Estrada, freshman architecture major, said volunteering is not an obligation for her but something she enjoys doing.

“Community service is a very positive experience,” she said. “If students don’t take the time to volunteer, they are missing out. I know it’s helped me be connected as a new student here at Kent State.”

For most college students, time is precious, and although the idea seems charming, not everyone is convinced of the need.

Students contributed $600,000 to the community through more than 32,000 hours of service last academic year, President Lester Lefton said in a FlashLine message.

Greg Jarvie, standing director of student affairs, reported a 42.8 percent increase in the hours of community service.

Nicole Cotton, faculty member of enrollment management and student affairs, said the benefits of volunteering are worth the time and effort.

“It’s a win-win situation,” Cotton said. “Students who volunteer gain self-confidence and experience. It’s amazing how many small things can save a life.”

Cotton said faculty members are trying diverse things to keep students interested and ensure that it’s relevant to their major. They hope to eventually progress to the point where students are the primary initiators of service projects.

Some activities Kent State students can participate in include tutoring younger children and going on immersion excursions weekends and spring break trips. Also, every other Saturday transportation is provided to students who want to help their community in “Super Saturdays.”

Estrada attended one “Super Saturday” earlier this semester. She, along with other students and faculty, traveled via canoes and kayaks down the Cuyahoga River, fishing out trash and other objects – chairs, tires and soda bottles.

“I’d never been (canoeing),” Estrada said. “It was cool to learn something new while helping the environment.”

Contact news correspondent Cassandra Adams at [email protected].