Many students visit family, friends, or beaches during spring break, to relax and de-stress from their hectic school schedule. Fun and unwinding are a necessity for college students on break but some students find volunteerism and service to be just as relaxing and rewarding as a day at the beach! Here are two examples of Kinesiology students that gave back to their community during their spring break.
Recent grads Nolan Anderson ’13 and Zach Willing ’13 volunteered at the Minnesota Special Olympics over their spring break. The Minnesota Special Olympics had athletes from all over Minnesota compete in events such as swimming, weight lifting, and basketball. This was not Willing’s first year volunteering for the Minnesota Special Olympics; he also had volunteered the year before as part of SMGT 3501: Sport in a Diverse Society. Willing ran the score board for the different events. He hopes to continue being part of the Minnesota Special Olympics in the future. Willing said, “I’ve definitely gained a new perspective about people living with disabilities. I have found a new respect for them as athletes and what they are able to accomplish and I also realized that working with this population in the future could be really rewarding.”
Another undergraduate student, McKinely Moore, embarked on the Students Today, Leaders Forever tour, an opportunity for students to travel cross-country in one week to work as a volunteer in multiple community projects. Moore began in Minneapolis and ended in Dallas, Texas, stopping in multiple cities along the way. She says, “Throughout these places we cleaned up parks, helped at a humane society, and at an art museum, sorted recycled Mardi Gras beads, assisted with landscaping for United Way, planted trees at a tree farm, toured the city where Mark Twain lived, and walked down Bourbon Street (in New Orleans).” Moore explained that even though her group volunteered, they also had time to sightsee and experience the cities they were visiting. She described the trip as an amazing opportunity to meet incredible people, travel, and help communities in need.
All students recommended their volunteer programs to others who want to have a meaningful and life-changing experience. It is apparent that these students have had valuable volunteering experiences through the work they did and with the people they met. The School of Kinesiology is proud to have such dedicated and motivated students representing our School.✍ -Brenda Senger, Communications Assistant