GEAUX & Give Back

jolieJolie is a first-year graduate student at Louisiana State University pursuing a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration. She currently works as a Graduate Assistant for the President’s Millennial Scholars Program within the Office of Diversity. Before becoming a Tiger, Jolie studied Psychology and Leadership at Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. As an Undergraduate student, she was involved in: Orientation, the President’s Leadership Program, Greek Life, Alternative Fall & Spring Break Service Trips, and graduated with service distinction within the youth development track.

In regards to service Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “what are you doing for others?” I initially knew upon beginning my undergraduate career that service was something of high priority on my list of things I wanted to get involved in. But if you don’t exactly have the track record of completing service in the past, don’t quite know where to get started, or don’t think service is for you, fear not! I’m here today to offer my advice on getting involved in service or service learning as a college student.

  1. Step out of your comfort zone: If service is not something you have a lot of experience with or something you’re a little nervous to jump into, my advice is to get like Nike and just do it! More than likely you’re already challenging yourself by beginning this new season of life, why not use this transition as a chance to go out and try something that can make a positive impact on your community?
  2. Narrowing down your options: Okay, so we’ve decided we’re going to give this whole service thing a shot, now what? There are SO many organizations, people, and places that have plenty of volunteer work available or are in need of an extra hand. How do you know where to start? Well I would say begin by identifying personal interests. I know before I just said to step out of your comfort zone, but that doesn’t mean enter the panic zone. For instance, I am not an outdoorsy-type gal (though I try hard to be by wearing Chacos or telling myself I want to go hiking, ha! Yeah right..) Well if I choose a service site related to nature or the outdoors, what good will I be as a volunteer if I pass out when I see a snake, spider, or alligator? None.A good place to start narrowing down service site interests would be through LSU’s Campus Life office. Here is a link to their website. There you will find more information about what LSU has to offer service wise on campus!
  3. Make a commitment, y’all: Service is like a lot of things; you get out of it what you put into it. If you aren’t getting involved in something you really care about, show up sporadically to serve, or aren’t fully present in your time there, you as well as your service site will not get the best out of your experiences. Talk with your service site supervisor to agree on a schedule that works best for both of you and hold yourself accountable! I know how hard it can be finding time with a college student schedule, but remember that time management is key.jolie-2
  4. Check yourself: One important aspect of service or service learning is reflection.  Taking the time to step back and reflect in whatever way best suits you is important to really understand the bigger picture of your work. At times it can be discouraging knowing there is so much to be done that you might feel as if you’re making little to no impact. During these times write in a journal, look up quotes, talk it out with someone else, or check out this list of reflection activities in order to have a better idea of what your service means, the impact it’s making on the service site as well as on yourself, and any lessons you’re learning along the way.
  5. What kind of ships never sink? Some of my best friends I still have to this day I met on alternative spring or fall break service trips. Having the opportunity to put myself out there, meet people I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and be vulnerable during group reflection allowed my new friendships to be deeper and more intentional. I went into these experiences not really knowing other students or staff I was with but always left feeling like they were family (as cliché as that may sound it’s true!) There’s something about living in a cabin for a week with people you have just met and no access to wifi or cable that just sort of brings you all together! In all seriousness, getting involved with service based trips or committed service sites is a great way to meet new people in both the LSU and greater Baton Rouge community. (The answer was friendships. Friendships never sink!) 
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Beyond the Boundaries of Campus

AndrewHall-1-2Andrew Hall is a recent graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Business and a minor in Communication. This summer Andrew served as the Head Parent Orientation Leader for our Family Orientation Program. Andrew will continue to love purple and live gold by working as a full-time recruiter for the LSU College of Engineering.

This summer I had the wonderful opportunity to go on a mission trip with my local church to Chan Chen, Belize. I always look forward to these kinds of trips because they really give you a global perspective.

When I first came to LSU in the Fall of 2010, I was blessed to be a part of an on campus ministry called Reformed University Fellowship, or RUF for short. Because of my involvement with RUF, I was able to define myself spiritually and explore the options of international missions.

I first visited Acapulco, Mexico in January 0f 2012 for a weeklong mission trip and later returned in January of 2014 to continue to serve the children and staff of Casa Hogar del Nino, which translates to “Home Sweet Home for the children”

As graduation approached, I was unsure of what my next steps would be. Not long after I returned to Baton Rouge for my final semester at LSU, I received a phone call from my mother asking me if I would be interested in attending another mission trip, but this time to Peru.IMG_7483

As the semester went on, we later found out that a trip to Peru was not in the options. After talking with Mission To the World, or MTW it was decided that we would begin planning our trip to Belize.

If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t know much about Belize. I didn’t know where it was, I didn’t know what we would be doing, and I didn’t know if they would even speak English. But what I did know (and later find out!), is that this trip was where we were supposed to be all a long.

Visiting Belize was such a special experience to share with my church family. We worked with a local church in Chan Chen building a fence, but more importantly building relationships with the people of this village. The local church in Chan Chen loved us so well, and I honestly think that they served us more than we served them. Each time I attend a trip like this, I am reminded that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

belize team!Each person on our team has his or her own gifts and strengths, and though they are very different from the next they each serve a special purpose. Some of us worked well during the construction time, while others enjoyed playing with the children or serving in the kitchen.

As school begins to start back up, I encourage you and your student to look into the different campus ministries that LSU has to offer. If it were not for my involvement with RUF, I would have never experienced the beauty of international missions. A full list of on campus ministries can be found at: http://studentlife.lsu.edu/chaplains

Its More Than Just Service!

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Justin Daws is going into his junior year at LSU. He is studying Human Resources with an emphasis in Leadership Development. At LSU, Justin is involved with LSU Ambassadors, Relay For Life of LSU, Colleges Against Cancer, and work for the Office of Parent and Family Programs as the Student Assistant. During the summer, he has served the Office of Orientation as a Parent Orientation Leader for the College of Music and Dramatic Arts.

 

While here at LSU, service is not only a trait that we try to instill in all of our students, but also an attitude that is taken into the hearts of every tiger here at this university. Starting at orientation, we encourage all of our students and families to help give back to the community by donating school supplies, so that we can stuff the bus and give back to the Baton Rouge community. Then from there we turn right around, and serve our community before school even starts with Community Bound. The Saturday before school starts, LSU sends over thousands of students, staff, and faculty to different locations around the Baton Rouge area to help assist and serve the community.
My first year here at LSU, I was able to participate in Community Bound. The Saturday morning started off with a welcome by the Chancellor of the University in the LSU Student Union Theater, which was both inspiring and a great way to start off not only the day, but also the year. We then loaded onto LSU Buses, which took us to multiple different locations with our fellow classmates and soon to be friends to serve the community. Some of my closest friends and I were able to go assist in the cleaning and painting of a local public school. After the day came to a close, we were given lunch at the school we were working at and then brought back to LSU.

The service did not end here, throughout the academic school year, LSU hosts many different opportunities to serve the school and the community. During homecoming, we do a massive school caned food drive and build Tiger Stadium out of cans on the parade ground. We are constantly hosting small service projects and events that can any student can participate in. One of the best ways of serving the community and LSU would be through the many different service organizations on campus. I, myself, am part of the Relay For Life of LSU organization as the executive director where we raise money for The American Cancer Society and serve men and women who are dealing with the effects of cancer. The organization that I am part of is only one out of many different and unique groups on campus that students can get involved in to help serve and give back

If there is one thin I can tell an incoming student to do to make their time here at LSU meaningful, I would tell them to give back. By giving back, you feel like you are making a difference and trying to better the world. Here at LSU, giving back and serving is what ties every group and organization together and makes us one big family. We may have different groups we support and different styles of service, but at the end of the day we are all serving as tigers and that ultimately represents the love and respect we have for our university. 10152024_10202805935621336_2175477830755590663_n