Community Engagement Showcase

[music] Sandy Lopez: The importance of giving back, I think it helps students to build a community
with one another, but even within the NIU, as we call the “communiversity.” It does happen here. I see students on and off campus, but that’s
what this showcase is about. It’s to showcase our students, their involvement
in how they give back. Renique Kersh: Engaging students in service
learning, and making sure that they are socially responsible, understanding themselves and how
they connect to the community, but also the impact that they have. Maria Aristeo Mireanda: Being involved on
campus and in community is essential to growth as an individual and as a leader. It’s also very purposeful. It makes me feel so good that I help out,
and that I’m involved. I’m meeting new friends, and I feel like
I’m leaving my mark in my community. Sandy Lopez: For URAD, for Undergraduate Research
and Artistry Day, there’s two components. Where students who do research will showcase
what they have done and what they have learned, but there’s another component of community
engagement showcase. Where its students who are in programs like
mine, Husky Service Scholars that are working with offices throughout campus. My students are going to talk about Hungry
Huskies, and how they help students with food insecurities on Sunday nights with Pastor
Lee and the Wesley Foundation. There are going to be sharing what they have
done and why there’s a need for this. Every different group that is speaking, is
going to showcase their involvement within the NIU community, both on campus and off campus. Pablo Valencia-Garcia: It’s giving me an
opportunity to volunteer. There’s always something bigger than just
us. Having the goals to graduate, having the goals
to have a career is nice, but when you have a vision of helping others and giving back to not just
yourself but the universe, it’s very satisfying. Sara Finnigan: These different experiences
provide different opportunities outside the classroom. It’s beyond lecture, it’s beyond reading,
it’s actually interacting with the community. They really see the “ah-ha” moments that
students have at these events. When they are interacting with the kids, and
they see a student really grasping a STEM concept and having that lightbulb moment,
it really just blows their mind too. Renique Kersh: We want students to leave NIU
being civically minded and socially responsible citizens. That’s why engaging in community engagement
work is important. [music]

Michael Martin

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