Ample opportunities to become involved and make a positive impact were presented to Southern Illinois University Edwardsville students this week.
The annual Activities Fair, showcasing some of the University’s more than 300 organizations, was held on Aug. 27-28. The Volunteer Fair, held on Aug. 29, offered students a chance to discover how they can get involved with area nonprofits.
“The number one thing I tell people on campus is to get involved!” said Braxton McCarroll, a senior studying marketing and management, and president of Collegiate 100. “Most of these organizations are free and there are so many, that anyone can find one to enjoy. Being involved makes the SIUE experience more personal and successful overall.”
Senior psychology major Devyn Fones invited students to learn more about the Dungeons and Dragons Club during the Activities Fair.
“We’re a leisure club that gives college students a reprieve from their daily studies, helps them connect with others and make new friends,” said Fones, president and founder of the club.
At the Volunteer Fair, sophomore Mahdi Gourdine, of O’Fallon, visited with multiple nonprofits regarding the possibilities of helping their efforts.
“Volunteering would offer a great chance for me to gain experience working with organizations that are related to my future aspirations,” said the psychology major. “I enjoy working with people, which is why I chose psychology. I plan on using my degree to do social work. Getting involved in organizations that have a mission related to those I want to work with someday would be not only useful for me academically, but also offer direct experience and allow me to make a positive impact.”
National Multiple Sclerosis Society Volunteer Engagement Coordinator Sarah Christmann was excited to meet prospective student volunteers, as her organization hosts Bike MS in Godfrey and will be hosting an event in April at The Gardens at SIUE.
“We’re here to get our name out on campus, describe what MS is and gain volunteers to support our efforts,” Christmann said. “Volunteering creates connections and networks.”
Rachael Heaton, the rehabilitation manager at Treehouse Wildlife Center, agreed. “We run off donations and most of our force is volunteers. We can use all the help we can get.”
“Volunteering with us would be a great opportunity not only for the students to come and get hands-on experience working with animals,” she added, “but also to support our mission to help more animals.”
For more information on community engagement and involvement opportunities, visit siue.edu/kimmel/.
Photos: (L-R) Sophomore Vernon Smith, freshman Karriem Muhammad, and sophomore Jeremiah Ratfliff gain information on Collegiate 100 president Braxton McCarroll.
(L-R) Sophomore Jacqueline Corral shows sophomore Sara Simpson SIUE’s Solar Car and encourages her to get involved.
SIUE sophomore Mahdi Gourdine signs up to learn more about volunteer opportunities with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.