07 Aug Serving Others Near & Far
If you haven’t had your head stuck between headphones since you arrived, you probably get that one of the most important things we do at UofL is give back to our local and global communities. We believe that our help does make the world a better place. Taking part in a service initiative is a quick way to make some friends and do some good. After all, what you do can make a significant impact on the lives of others. Here are a few places to start:
Leadership and Service
The Office of Student Involvement offers a number of civic engagement, leadership and service programs. The programs allow students to harness their own leadership potential and in many cases learn to put it to good use bettering the lives of others. Check out Freshman LEAD, which cultivates leadership skills in freshmen, and the Engage Lead Serve Board, an organization that develops leadership and organizes service opportunities for all students.
Here’s an example of some of the annual programming:
Alternative Service Breaks
During school breaks, the Alternative Service Break Board organizes a variety of service trips. Last year’s trips were to Washington, D.C.; Asheville, N.C.; Costa Rica and Ecuador. Students worked with food literacy and food insecurity issues as well as community development and environmental sustainability. Join the ASB Board, which meets every Friday in the SAC, and help plan and lead this year’s trip.
How do you start to change the world? Lead. “Elect Her – Campus Women Win,” is an annual day-long conference that teaches college women about running for office—both on campus and off. The conference features research and information about women and politics, local speakers and campaign exercises.
The International Service Learning Program
Student Affairs and various academic departments team up for ISLP to give students an opportunity to see the world and work with people to better their lives. On past trips, students have taught schoolchildren about communication and bullying prevention; they’ve also helped run dental clinics. An ISLP class begins a few months before each trip, as students, faculty and staff develop programming for their service projects. The program culminates in a trip to such destinations as the Philippines, Botswana, Belize, Croatia, and Trinidad and Tobago. ISLP trips are spread throughout the year, so if you still want to cherish your winter or spring break you can.
The Signature Partnership
The Signature Partnership is a university-wide effort to enhance the quality of life and economic opportunity for underserved residents of West Louisville. The Office of Community Engagement operates the program and encourages UofL employees and students to work with community partners to improve the educational, health, economic and social status of individuals and families who live literally blocks from our campuses. There are a lot of ways to get involved. Some examples of past efforts include working on leadership skills with students at Western Middle School, reading to children through Every1Reads and volunteering as positive mentors. In fact, some of your classes may even include service projects that tie into the Signature Partnership.