Volunteer Action Center Board Applications Still Open
Applications for the Volunteer Action Center 2019-2020 student board have been extended through next Monday.
The VAC is a student-led organization that connects the U of A with service agencies and provides volunteer opportunities throughout Northwest Arkansas. The board consists of an executive team and five signature program teams that manage and run the organization's programming.
Kaitlin Turner is the intern for the Jane B Gearhart Full Circle Food Pantry and said the experience reshaped her college trajectory.
"Working with the pantry changed what I wanted to do with my life," she said.
Turner, who studied agriculture, plans to go to law school and eventually work on hunger relief issues.
"Seeing the actual faces of people who use the pantry changed my perspective and dealing with both admin and hands on service helped me understand how I can make an impact," she said.
Full Circle, along with Razorback Food Recovery, address issues of food insecurity, waste and hunger on campus and in the wider community. Each program allows students to engage with these problems through direct service, but also by leading and managing the programs.
Alvaro Aldana, a volunteer coordinator for the Passionate About Learning (P.A.L.) program, began volunteering his Junior year. He said the board is a time commitment, but working with the VAC gave him the opportunity to develop skills outside of the classroom.
"I found that I liked it… helping the kids develop those skills and seeing them grasp concepts they couldn't before," he said. "You want to put in more effort, because you want [the programs] to succeed, and when they do you feel rewarded."
Programs like P.A.L. and Dream B.I.G. focus on mentoring and fostering relationships with elementary and high school students both in and out of the classroom.
The VAC also offers opportunities for executive board members and with the student engagement team, who connect outside organizations with students and plan and execute larger service events- including the annual Make A Difference Day- throughout the year.
Erin Farmer, the VAC President, said she believes the board offers invaluable opportunities for students to get involved on campus and to see their work come to fruition.
"I have loved every minute of my time with the VAC [and] I am in awe of the incredible work done," she said. "It's been wonderful working with so many amazing people dedicated to making a difference."
Antoinette Longcrier, HEI Program coordinator
Center for Community Engagement
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