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University offers variety of volunteer opportunities

Jan. 19, 2001

Students complete most hours through

campus groups

By FLORA LEE

Reporter

Volunteer opportunities abound at Baylor University, yet students who participated in community service during high school wonder how to continue their work after moving away from home.

Students looking for volunteer opportunities can report to the Bill Daniel Student Center for duty.

Baylor University students logged 152,271 volunteer hours in the 1999-2000 school year. While most of these hours came in through class requirements, campus agencies, clubs and Greek organizations, students can still work with the community in many other ways.

The student center offers the most volunteer opportunities. Students can find information at the Office of Student Activities, located on the ground floor of the student center.

'Baylor students have a reputation for service,' said community service coordinator Jessica Truglio.

Agencies, churches, and people call the office requesting services from tutoring to yard work to babysitting. Student Activities also issues a monthly newsletter to the service chairs of all organizations so that every group stays informed.

Local organizations such as Mission Waco can always use more volunteers. Mission Waco has 120 regular volunteers and relies heavily upon Baylor students to help run its programs. People are needed to help with after-school tutoring, GED classes, Saturday morning King's Club and youth mentoring.

Due to rising enrollment in all programs, volunteer coordinator Jeremy Everett, a Truett Seminary student, estimates that 175 regular volunteers will be needed within another year. Most of the work involves one-on-one interaction, and students can call Mission Waco at 753-4900 to offer their services.

'Students can call us any time, and we are happy to work with them in any way possible,' said Kay Metz, director of development and community partnerships for Waco Independent School District. The district always welcomes student helpers and Metz asks Baylor students to call her any time at 755-9436.

Volunteers at Waco ISD can play with children after school, mentor at-risk children and tutor students struggling with the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills test. Students can also work with kids through Baylor Buddies or Communities in Schools any time between 7:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Baylor Buddies provides students with the opportunity to mentor a child in elementary or middle school. Students commit for the entire year, and spend at least one hour each week with their buddy.

Truglio, who coordinates this program with Communities In Schools and Waco ISD, said, 'We have lots who return, and they enjoy [working with the kids] very much.'

Baylor offers a number of service organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the Magellan Society, Alpha Phi Omega, CHI's Women's Service Club and Baylor Women's League. More organizations are listed at the Student Involvement Center, located near the mailroom in student center. Truglio recommends students begin by participating in Steppin' Out, a university wide day of service.

The university also has community service courses that require at least two hours of service each week. Information regarding these courses can be found on the Baylor Web site, or students can contact Dr. Thomas Myers at 710-3098.