Fair to offer volunteer, internship opportunities
CSLC aims to connect students with organizations, prospective employers
Grand Valley State University’s Community Service Learning Center will host another Nonprofit,
Volunteer and Internship Fair for students who are looking for ways to get involved on campus and in
the community. Valerie Jones, assistant director of Student Life who also oversees the CSLC, said there
will be more than 50 nonprofit organizations in attendance this year, which is the largest number ever
“We want to reach out to local nonprofit organizations and invite them to campus so they can provide
students with information,” Jones said. “It is a way for students to get connected to opportunities that
will make a difference.”
Student must check in with their ID, and then they are free to walk around to browse the various
opportunities. Jones said there will be organizations for students of all ages, interests and majors—
including those that serve youth and the environment.
The number one goal is to help students learn and understand more about the nonprofit
organizations and the needs of the community, Jones said.
The CSLC also wants to promote the importance of volunteering as a way to become an active citizen,
and Jones said she hopes students will find a place they belong through these service opportunities.
“The fair is an outlet for them to find what they’re passionate about,” she said. “It’s critical to find your
niche on campus.”
Jones also emphasized that students should find a “meaningful way” to give back to the community,
and the fair is a good place to start. In addition, students may also develop their professional and
personal network as they make connections with employers, organizations and other students with
similar interests and skills.
“No matter what your major, there’s lots of opportunities that connect directly to your major,” Jones
Bryana Hopkins is the volunteer and project coordinator for Family Futures, which operates in the West
Michigan area. The organization’s main focus is on supporting families and helping children succeed,
and it has attended the fair in previous years.
“We hope to emphasize how unique and awesome the volunteer and internship opportunities are that
we offer at Family Futures,” Hopkins said.
Beside recruiting new interns and volunteers, Hopkins said the other main goal for Family Futures at
the event is to continue its connection with GVSU students, the CSLC and Career Services.
Hopkins said she has had good experiences working with GVSU students in the past and would like to
reach out to student organizations and faculty from different departments.
The fair is ideal for students who have had trouble searching and finding opportunities like
Nick DeMaagd, a journalism major, said it has been difficult to find an internship in his field. He hasn’t
heard of the fair, but is interested in attending so he can talk to potential employers about internships
and look for volunteer opportunities.
“Getting an internship is important for me because having job-related experience before graduating is
a must for students these days,” DeMaagd said. “And I find it important to have an internship in your
field because you’ll get experience and work in an environment that facilitates your interests.”
Courtney Huntoon, a secondary education and history major at GVSU, said she has not heard of the
fair either, but would like to attend this year to get more information on volunteering opportunities in
the area. Huntoon wants to be a teacher when she graduates and said her ideal volunteering activity
would be with high school students.
“I want to make a difference,” she said. “Every time I have volunteered in the past I have felt I was
making a difference in the community, and it was a good feeling.”
Valerie Jones’ final tips for students who plan to attend the fair: dress professionally and bring a
The event takes place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Henry Hall Atrium.
For more information about the Nonprofit, Volunteer and Internship Fair, visit www.gvsu.edu/service.