ECU students launch effort with volunteerism
(Sept. 25, 2005)
More than 1,000 first-year students from East Carolina University volunteered Sept. 24 while participating in ECU’s first-ever student leadership program.
Pirates Partnering with Pitt will enable students enrolled in ECU’s Counseling and Student Advising (COAD) 1000 course to roll up their sleeves and volunteer at organizations throughout Pitt County. From noon to 5 p.m. students donated a few hours to help out at organizations such as the Ronald McDonald House, the Pitt County Animal Shelter and area food pantries.
The volunteer project is part of ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard’s new campus-wide initiative, “ECU goes 3-D, Discover Design and Deliver” to help students develop leadership skills. The program will cultivate these skills by building on students’ strengths and interests and by providing opportunities enabling them to become leaders. Plans are now in the works at ECU for a minor in leadership studies.
Stephen Gray, of ECU’s Ombudsman office, said service is a key aspect of leadership development.
“The concept of being a leadership university has to start somewhere,” Gray said. “Why not start here? These students are right off the block and they can make difference in their own lives and in the community.”
Gray worked with Jason Denius, director of ECU’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center and with ECU academic advisor Jayne Geissler to coordinate the volunteer effort. With students from all 49 sections of the one-credit course offered through the counseling and advising department, Gray said this project shows both the community and the students the good that can result from a little effort and commitment.
“We are waking up the community to show that ECU is taking a stand,” Gray said. “There is enough need in Pitt County to sustain this every weekend and not a lot of people realize it. These students will be discovering their leadership potential while providing Pitt County with valuable volunteer hours of service. It is the beginning of a great partnership.”