Students Seek Ways to Help

Aug. 30, 2012

Students look for ways to get involved and learn more through the fall Work & Service Fair.

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Students wandered from booth to booth in the University Center lounge, on the outdoor patio and along nearby sidewalks Thursday, looking for opportunities to gain experience and give back to society.

More than 100 organizations hosted tables at this fall’s Work & Service Fair on the Forest Grove campus. They ranged from social service agencies to local schools, from retailers to campus offices and departments.

“We want to get our foot in the door,” said biology major and pre-med student Zanny Avila ‘15. She and a friend, Hailey Leslie ‘15, signed up to volunteer at Community Action, the largest private nonprofit social service agency in Washington County.

As a social work major, Leslie said volunteering is an important part of her education, “so we can get experience on what we’re studying.”

That’s something Carol Cruzan hears a lot. She’s volunteer services manager for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), which offers work-study employment, internships and volunteer opportunities for students. Among such opportunities is the chance for students to help facilitate hands-on science activities with the public. Many of the students who stopped by her booth were interested in science education.

“I’m looking for science research or tutoring math or physics, because that’s what I’m studying,” said Victor Rielly ‘16, who was checking out the OMSI booth.

“This new generation wants to give back to society,” said Ted Zehr, principal at Century High School in Hillsboro. He was helping secure volunteers for AVID—advancement Via Individual Determination—a national college readiness system for elementary to postsecondary students that works to increase schoolwide learning and performance.

Century High, along with Glencoe and Liberty high schools in Hillsboro, are in the AVID program and use the student volunteers in facilitating high school groups, Zehr said.

Andrew Hennings ’14 is an exercise science major at Pacific and an experienced volunteer. He’s president of the Pacific chapter of Circle K International, which last year helped redo a room in a Washington County homeless shelter. On Thursday, he was checking out ways to help with AVID.

The Work & Service Fair is sponsored by the Career Development Center and the Center for Civic Engagement at Pacific University.