Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Participating in Service on and off campus

Jenny with students on the Discovery Program
Jenny working on Discovery Program
In my three years at Hofstra, community service has become an integral part of my life.  During my first year I stumbled upon the Discovery Program which is run through The Office of Student Leadership and Activities (OSLA). It was hands down one of the single best opportunities I have had here at Hofstra.  OSLA offers all kinds of programs that will not only help you connect on campus, but prepare you for the future as well.  The OSLA staff is incredibly supportive and has encouraged me to get involved in degrees I never imagined. 
After completing the Discovery Program, an incredible community service-based program for first year students, I learned about multiple opportunities on and off campus that I took advantage of and have opened many doors for me. My experience in community service began well before my arrival at Hofstra, through volunteer work with SpecialOlympics. When I learned that Hofstra did not have a club or organization in support of Special Olympics, I went through OSLA and started a club of my own, Hofstra Goes for Gold Through our largest fundraising event, Jail & Bail, we have raised $21,837 in three years, which has directly sponsored Special Olympics athletes.  I am very proud of this accomplishment and my group.
Jenny with students at Jail and Bail
I became involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island I participated in the Midnight Run, where I, along with 11 other students, gathered food, clothing, and toiletries to distribute to the homeless in New York City. I have also been involved with organizations such as Food Not Bombs and the Mary Brennan INN through programs run by OSLA And, since the Discovery Program is where it all started for me, I have served as a Discovery Leader the last two years and will do so as well this August.
The OSLA programs attract the kind of student who wants to get involved and chooses to give back.  So many of these people have done amazing things and are truly inspirational to me.  These programs have allowed me to make many friends that I might not have met otherwise. Making friends outside of class is invaluable because it allows you to make connections with all kinds of interesting people in other majors and fields, which will help you in your future profession no matter what you plan on doing.
Jenny raising money for Special Olympics
at Jail and Bail, March 2014
I have also developed incredible relationships with faculty members and administrators, for which I am truly grateful.  Without these connections, I would not have been as successful in my endeavors at Hofstra as well as in my field.  In my experience, community service is an amazingly fun and rewarding way to become involved on campus as well as make lifelong friends. 
Submitted by Jenny Rowe, ‘15


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