Monday, February 27, 2012

Senior Outreach Program

            The SUU Senior Outreach Program is in need of volunteers who are interested in giving back to the members of our community who have given so much and are often forgotten—the elderly. There are two assisted living facilities here in Cedar City, Emerald Pointe and Kolob, and they love to have students donate some of their time to brighten the lives of the senior citizens who live there. The residents of these facilities are often lonely and are thrilled when they have the opportunity to share their experiences with the student volunteers.

            The Senior Outreach program does not have a consistent time or day of the week because it mostly involves visiting the residents on their birthday with balloons in hand and singing “Happy Birthday.” It usually only takes half an hour to forty five minutes per birthday, so the time commitment is very small. The volunteers also help out with the parties that Emerald Pointe and Kolob offer throughout the year, such as on Halloween and Valentine’s Day. Service Leader Brooke Topham says, “I think the elderly are darling! You can learn so much from their life experiences. I love to watch their face light up when they realize that you made a special effort to remember their birthday.” Volunteer Christy Williams adds, “I love to help with old people because it’s like Christmas morning every time you go help them. They are just so much fun and so appreciative of what you do. You really can’t help but smile and laugh with them and just walk away loving them.”

            The volunteers meet at the Community Engagement Center and carpool to the assisted living homes. This is an excellent opportunity for those people who have busy schedules but would still like to give back to the community, as the time needed is not much. If you are interested in this educational and meaningful volunteer opportunity, please contact Brooke Topham at or come into the Center for more information.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service

Interested in spending your summer making a difference in Washington, DC?
Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service
June 10 – August 4, 2012
Georgetown University, Washington, DC
The Institute on Philanthropy and Voluntary Service is a summer academic internship program in Washington, D.C. offering both internships and classes focusing on volunteerism and the nonprofit sector.
Highlights of the Institute include:
  • Internships – Competitive placements with leading nonprofit organizations
  • Classes – Up to 9 transferable credits in ethics and philanthropy from Georgetown University
  • Housing – Roommate matching and furnished on-campus apartments in the heart of D.C.
  • Service – A variety of hands-on community projects with local and national organizations
  • Guest Lectures – With Washington’s top nonprofit executives and scholars
  • Leadership & Professional Development – Leadership, mentoring and career building activities
  • Networking – With seasoned nonprofit professionals and top student leaders from around the world
  • Scholarships – Approximately 70% of students receive generous awards based on merit and financial need.
Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until March 7, 2012.

For more information or to start an application, please visit the website at
If you are considering a summer of service and have questions about the program, please feel free to contact Kristen Wright, IPVS Program Coordinator, at or 202.986.0384.

Community Hiking

Looking for something different to do this Saturday? Why not go outside and get a little exercise?

The Community Engagement Center in conjunction with the Outdoor Engagement Center and the “More Kids in the Woods” grant from the Dixie National Forest presents the Community Outdoor Series for the Cedar City community. The Series is hosting a hike up the Rocky Peak Trail in the Three Peaks Recreation Area this Saturday, February 25th. Everyone is welcome including children!

It will be a leisurely hike and educational! Arrangements have been made to have a Bureau of Land Management recreation technician join the group for the hike. She will talk about the hike and how the BLM manages the land for the public’s use. This hike is the perfect opportunity for those who want to get some fresh air and socialize on the trail with new people. Service Leader Heidi says, “People should come if they have been itching to get outside, and just needed an excuse or someone to go with.”

If you are interested in attending, watch the weather and dress appropriately and bring your own lunch/snacks and water. Meet to carpool in the L.J. Sorenson PE building parking lot at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. If you have any questions about this hike or the Community Outdoor Series, come into the Community Engagement Center or contact Heidi at

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


The Community Engagement Center offers several programs for students to get involved. One of the many opportunities is tutoring at the Paiute Tribal Center or at a local elementary school. It takes only an hour or two a day and is a perfect way to give back to the community.  It’s a great option for an education major looking for some volunteer experience or any other majors that love kids and enjoy being a mentor!

Tutoring at the Paiute Tribal Center is Monday through Thursday at 4:00, except for Wednesdays when it is an hour earlier at 3:00. If you don’t have transportation, you can meet at the Center fifteen minutes beforehand to carpool. Tutors mostly listen to elementary aged kids read, offer other homework help as needed, answer questions, and play board games. The kids love their one on one time with the tutor and appreciate the extra attention that they may not get otherwise. It makes them feel important that someone wants to spend time with them and help them.

Ruth, one of the service leaders in charge of the program, said of her experience tutoring: “It's the best part of my day. I enjoy getting to know the kids and tutors. It has become something that I love to do. I think a lot of people shy away from tutoring because they feel inadequate but the truth is, these kids just need some attention. I think adults forget too often how much a child can look up to a mentor. It's an opportunity to make friends, play games, and truly gain a better understanding and perspective for what these kids go through on a day to day basis.”

Volunteer Kaitlyn said, “I learned as much as I taught. At first it was something I had to do but it has turned into something I enjoy, and it makes me happy to know that in some small way I'm helping those kids learn, grow, and have happy memories with learning."
If you want more information about the Paiute Tribal Center tutoring program, please email Ruth and Shyrel at

There is also an opportunity to help out at East Elementary during the school day assisting with reading groups. About one third of the students at this local school are English-as-a-second-language learners, and so the teachers really appreciate having volunteers to help out in this area. Tutors would mostly listen to the children read to them. Studies have shown that kids who are not on par with their grade level in reading by the third grade will mostly lag behind their peers for the rest of their life, so it is imperative that these kids get this extra attention that their teacher cannot provide.

If you want more information about the tutoring program at East Elementary school, please email

And of course, feel free to stop into the CEC for more information on these and any other programs that allow you to give back to your community! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Spring Break Options

     What are you doing for Spring Break? Staying home? Doing a class project? Hoping to scrounge up enough money to vacation somewhere? Anywhere?
     The Community Engagement Center has the perfect solution for those who want to travel and have a life-changing experience, but are short on funds.  The CEC is sponsoring three Alternative Spring Breaks this semester to San Diego, CA; Tacoma, WA; and Taos, NM.
     These breaks provide SUU students with an eight day humanitarian service experience during the day and free time to explore the city and hang out with fellow students at night. These trips are a great way for you to volunteer your time for a worthy cause and still have a unique spring break that you can brag about to all your friends and family. The best part, besides gaining valuable service experience that looks great on a resume or grad school application and meeting awesome new people, is that the entire trip is only $480! This includes all trip costs including meals, travel, and accommodations.
     You are probably wondering what exactly you would be doing during those eight days. The San Diego trip is partnering with Via International to introduce students to immigration issues. Students will work with local youth immigrant groups at a community garden, and with other organizations that work with immigrants. If you are interested in learning more about this current social and political issue, this trip is definitely for you. The Tacoma and Taos trips are partnering with Habitat for Humanity, which usually involve building or renovating housing for the less fortunate. No experience is necessary—if you don’t know your way around power tools, they’ll give you a paint brush! You will engage in direct service for four full days during the break. On the fifth day, you will have an opportunity to explore the city visited. In the evenings, you can enjoy free time to play games, hang out, sightsee, or just relax with the new friends you’ve made.
     This is the opportunity to really make a difference, learn some leadership skills, and have an experience that will impress future employers!  There are still a few spots left for these trips. Go to for more information and to sign up today! There is a non-refundable deposit of $80 due at the time of registration.  Registration closes February 17th!
     As always, feel free to stop by the CEC, for more information on these fantastic alternative spring break trips! Don’t miss out—it’s better than staying home!