Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

Independent Student Newspaper for the University of Texas at San Antonio

The Paisano

    Taking the time: UTSA students lend a hand

    Boys and Girls Club

    UTSA students know what volunteering is all about.

    Claudia Sanchez, a political science major, connects personally to volunteering. Doctors gave a relative of Sanchez’s 2-year-old son only 10 days to live but he/she was saved at St. Jude’s Hospital.

    “You want someone to just help you; you have to try anything and everything,” Sanchez said.

    Dozens of groups in San Antonio are run by volunteers. Chances are, there is an organization that would interest you.

    Timothy Clark, a junior public administration major, volunteers at Haven for Hope and the refugee center. His reasons reflect a moral standing.

    “I feel it’s a more personal way of helping than giving,” Clark said.

    For some students, volunteering has changed their lives and inspired their dedicated to a life of service. Chevala Woods, a junior psychology major, pledged Gamma Sigma Sigma Sorority (GSS) in Kentucky before transferring to UTSA. The sorority specializes in community service.

    “I would like to see more of a presence of community service here at UTSA,” Woods said. She is hoping to become part of a sorority similar to GSS, so she can continue doing what she loves.

    “I can’t see myself working without helping people,” Woods said.

    Claudia Perez, a senior Spanish major who is minoring in non-profit management and ESL, spends 50 percent of her free time volunteering. That’s after she has worked a full time job and taken care of her own family.

    “It really doesn’t take much to make an impact in a person’s life,” Perez said.

    At the downtown campus, Dr. Patricia Jaramillo, who teaches Fundraising for Non-Profit Organization, requires that her students volunteer for 15 hours per semester as part of the course requirements.

    “It’s important for students (and citizens in general) to volunteer, so we recognize ourselves as part of a larger community,” Jaramillo said. “We become more sensitive to the needs of others.”

    Jaramillo went on to explain that volunteering gives her students a deeper understanding of how a volunteer organzations works and how their input makes a difference “to get to know the organization, along with its programs, clients, patrons, it provides a fuller picture of the organization.”

    So whether it’s for fun or personal resume building, volunteering is a good way to spend time learning something new or helping others less fortunate. There is something intangibly real to be gained by volunteering. Not to mention the connections and networking that can lead to bigger things down the road.

    Wherever your interests lie, you can bet there is an organization that needs and wants your help.