May 6, 2013

Celebration May 7 showcases student leadership, service

More than 100 University of Washington undergraduates will share information about their volunteer activities at the Spring Celebration of Service and Leadership, 3-5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 7 at the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center.

Each year UW undergraduates dedicate many hours in the community. In the 2011-12 school year, for example, more than 5,900 UW students devoted 556,340 hours participating in university-sponsored activities. At the celebration, students will share their experiences on behalf of environmental sustainability, unemployment law, addiction treatment methods, early literacy, healthcare and more.

College student helps three children shine flashlights in a mirror

Jumpstart

UW undergraduate Masooda Zarifi leads preschoolers in a science activity using flashlights, shadows and reflections.

Ric Robinson, a professor of biological structure, said such student involvement advances critical-thinking skills. Robinson mentors UW undergraduate Kayla Ritchie who publishes a quarterly student-run neuroscience journal “Grey Matters.”

“Kayla is already exhibiting and learning the day-to-day leadership and problem-solving skills necessary to make ambitious real world projects succeed,” he said.

The spring celebration is sponsored by the Carlson Leadership and Public Service Center, Jumpstart, the Pipeline Project and the Mary Gates Endowment for Students. This year marks the 15th and 10th anniversaries respectively of the Pipeline Project and Jumpstart. The two have connected more than 12,000 undergraduates with programs for preschool and K-12 youngsters.

UW alum Gloria Johnston was one such student. As an undergraduate she devoted hundreds of hours to Jumpstart, an early literacy program that connects college students as tutors and mentors with preschool children from low-income communities.

“My Jumpstart experience was the foundation for my interest in direct service and community involvement,” she says.

The celebration will include student posters, a talk by author, educator, and civic entrepreneur Eric Liu about  the impact of student service on our community and recognition of  this year’s Edward E. Carlson Leadership Awardee, Yuriana Garcia, for her efforts to educate undocumented students about options to pay for college.

After the program, and for the first time, more than 40 student presenters will share their stories in small “breakout sessions.”

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