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UAlbany Students a Positive Force in Great Danes Give Back

April 17, 2009

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UAlbany students giving back.

UAlbany students are known for their volunteering spirit. On April 18, NYPIRG and the Community and Public Service Program are teaming up for a campus-wide volunteer-athon. (Photo Mark Schmidt) 

More than 500 University at Albany students are volunteering in area soup kitchens and food pantries this semester as part of the Community and Public Service Program (CPSP). On April 18, CPSP students and NYPIRG teamed up to produce the Great Danes Give Back, a campus-wide volunteer-athon.

If enrollment in the CPSP is any indicator, there is a giving trend  at UAlbany, where there was a 20 percent increase over last year in students signing up to donate 60 or 100 hours of service in exchange for two or three credits.

"CPSP believes that volunteering is an important activity for students to engage in because it develops values of civic engagement and helps them become more committed and responsive community members," said Elisa Martin, a research assistant with CPSP and doctoral student in the School of Social Welfare.

NYPIRG has run the event in previous years, and this year is the first time CPSP has joined in, reaching out to its community partners to see if they have projects in need of volunteers.

Martin, a native of Orleans, Mass., chose to become a student again after eight years in the work force. She said the School of Social Welfare "has a great reputation. After visiting the school, it felt like the perfect fit to advance my education." Her long-term goals include being an educator for future social workers and conducting research to improve organizational systems.

CPSP connects community organizations with UAlbany faculty and students, and is creating new partnerships to help the community. With 400 organizations to choose from, CPSP offers a wide range of opportunities for faculty engagement and student volunteering.

Volunteer teams prepared lunches for the hungry, redecorated housing for underprivileged children, and helped to produce events for local non-profits.

Students who are seeking to acquire community service hours may contact NYPIRG at (518) 442-5658 or send an e-mail to albany@nypirg.org .

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Francelina Morillo, '10, majoring in psychology and biology
UAlbany Students

"I want to make the world a better place. I want to inspire other people like myself, who've faced adversity and persevered and continue to pursue their dreams," said senior Francelina Morillo.

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