Shepard Freshman Resource Center: Parent Articles
Hello, UP Parent, and thank you for visiting the First-Year
Parent and Family website!
Below you will find articles that address common experiences of families and students in the first year of college. These articles are a tool to raise awareness as well as provide guidance for the entire family. If you would like some additional guidance or support on challenges or obstacles your student may experience, please give us a call or send an email, 503-943-7895, firstname.lastname@example.org.
October Article 2 – Service Opportunities
In the first hectic weeks of students’ freshmen year, it often seems that there are few similarities between their former high school life and their current college life. Old friends have dispersed and are replaced with new acquaintances; classes occur sporadically throughout the day as opposed to for a solid block of 6 hours; and instead of having extracurricular activities define their daily routines, students find themselves having to opt in to activities of interest and set aside the time to participate.
Each year, we find that many of our freshmen spent part of their extracurricular time in high school performing volunteer work, and are coming to UP with a strong background in this and an interest in continuing. However, each year we also find that many freshmen are unsure of how to reintegrate service work into their new lives here at UP.
The reality is, the University of Portland provides a number of ways for students to get involved in volunteering, especially through the Moreau Center for Service and Leadership. Many students choose to participate in immersion trips; upcoming immersion opportunities include the Urban Policy Plunge (during winter break), the Border Plunge (during Spring Break 2015) and the Collegiate Challenge (during Spring Break 2015).
Outside of one-time trips, the Moreau Center offers opportunities to get involved on a monthly basis through their Service and Justice Coordinators (SJCs). SJCs are a team of student leaders who live in the residence halls (one per hall) to promote social justice and a spirit of volunteerism in hall communities. They plan at least one volunteer opportunity per month for hall residents. SJCs are a great resource for students who want to get involved in volunteering on campus and connected to the Moreau Center.
But what if students want to get involved in a continuing (rather than a one-time) volunteering opportunity? Students with this interest can contact the Campus Volunteer Coordinators (CVCs), also students employed by the Moreau Center. CVCs are connected with individual nonprofit agencies in Portland, so if students have an interest in pursuing a continued volunteer opportunity in feeding the homeless, tutoring, working with adults with disabilities, deconstruction and furniture building, or planting and caring for trees, they can contact the CVC associated with that agency.
For some students, performing service can in fact be a paid position. The Moreau Center employs additional students in community service work study positions; for additional information, visit the Moreau Center website. In addition, students who perform at least 300 of hours of service work during one year may be eligible for an Americorps Students in Service grant of over $1000. This is a highly selective program with specific requirements, so students with questions regarding this opportunity should contact the Moreau Center for more information, 503-943-7132.
So if you get the feeling your student is settled in and looking for an opportunity to get more involved on campus, remember – service opportunities abound here at UP!