The holidays remind us this is the season of giving. All members of SUNY make a concerted effort to volunteer and contribute to their respective campuses and local communities. The 30 Days of Giving campaign highlights students and faculty across all of our 64 campuses who participate in volunteerism and give back to those in need. With over 467,000 students and three million alumni, we want to celebrate the impact the SUNY community has made in all of their unique community service projects. As we learned last year, the byproduct of taking volunteerism to scale is not only building character in our students themselves as they join our over three million alumni, but also to set an example of impact as the nation’s largest university system.
Members of Binghamton’s PricewaterhouseCoopers Scholars program joined forces with community members and other civic groups to help turn a vacant lot into the Walnut Street Park in Binghamton. Besides helping to clean up debris and paint nearby walls, the students raised about $22,000 to pay for a playground. Binghamton students are serious about entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Here are some ways they get involved.
Roommates and entrepreneurs: When the new Dickinson Community buildings open this fall, one part of Johnson Hall will be home to students interested in business development and/or entrepreneurship. Students will govern and name their “neighborhood” as well as participate in business-plan development projects and competitions. Out of 115 applications for the special housing, 28 students and a resident assistant have been chosen to live there. Students who want to start a business will work with the Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Partnerships.
Competition pays off: A team of five School of Management students won $10,000 for taking first place in the national Ernst & Young “Your World, Your Vision” case competition. The money allows them to implement their plan to reduce discarded electronics and increase computer literacy. The students are Dali Lu, Oyuka Baatarkhuyag, Michael Genito ’13, Ying Zhu and Joyce Wenjing Xu ’13.
A winning video: $10,000 in prize money was given to after-school and summer programs run by United Health Services’ School-Based Clinic. Students Alexandria Hall, Rachel Engle, Timothy Tschurjumov, Lauren Colantino and Jennifer Solomon won the money by creating a three-minute video about the programs. The video contest is funded by the Learning by Giving Foundation.
Philanthropy Incubator: Five community programs shared more than $13,000 in awards made by students in the Philanthropy Incubator program. The students chose the winners by assessing community needs and then measuring the performance of the organizations in addressing those needs. Some funding was provided by the Learning by Giving Foundation; some was raised by graduate students.
$4,200 went to the SOS Shelter to improve the security of its shelter, which houses victims of domestic violence.
$2,300 went to the Family Enrichment Network, which will expand the playground used by children in its Head Start programs.
$2,000 to the Hope Dispensary of the Southern Tier, operated through Lourdes Hospital, to provide affordable medical care and advocacy.
$1,500 went to the Kopernik Observatory and Science Center to help replace a telescope lens.
$3,653 went to Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments (VINES), which helps develop a sustainable and equitable community food system.
To learn more and to get involved visit the Center for Civic Engagement site for more details.
Shaniese Alston was a student assistant in the Office of New Media of the State University of New York for the fall 2013 academic semester while a student at the University at Albany.