49°F & Rain 7 day forecast Sunday, November 23, 2014

Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair

By Ben Glick

bglick@lanthorn.com

The Fall 2014 Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair will take place Sept. 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Henry Hall Atrium and is being hosted by Grand Valley State University's Community Service Learning Center.

The CSLC said the fair is an opportunity for students to connect with various agencies in the greater Grand Rapids area.

“The Nonprofit Volunteer and Internship Fair does not require registration from students interested in opportunities,” the center said on its website. “Just show up and participate.”

Up to 50 agencies including the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army and the Peace Corps are offering volunteer and internship opportunities. The CSLC said resumes and business attire are not required but may be appropriate for those looking for internships.

Students interested in finding opportunities before the next fair are instructed to visit the CSLC where consultants are available to help them explore options.

The event is sponsored by the CSLC, which provides community service, civic engagement and extracurricular service learning opportunities for GVSU students to serve the local community.

“We serve as a campus clearinghouse and resource for students and student organizations, as well as provide support to faculty and staff for related initiatives,” the CSLC website states.

Volunteer efforts at GVSU date back to the early 1990’s, with the work of the Leadership & Volunteer Center and Volunteer GVSU.

In January 2002, Volunteer GVSU received its own space in the Student Organization Center (SOC), and the Volunteer Center became an office within the Office of Student Life.

In January 2006, the Volunteer Center was restructured and became the Community Service Learning Center with actual space adjacent to the Office of Student Life. The CSLC was created to provide a central operation for students that were interested in service.

“Our mission is to prepare students to become citizens of a global society and challenge them to be committed to a life of community service as active citizens,” their website said.

The philosophy of the CSLC is guided by the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, a notion developed in 1994 by UCLA professors Helen and Alexander Astin that focuses on strengthening three core components of individual values, group values and societal values to train social justice leaders.

“Social change refers to creating positive change within the community that in some way benefits the community," the website said. “Social change leaders are those who work collaboratively to ensure that change occurs.”

The CSLC described the leaders as being focused on collective action, shared power, and having “a passionate commitment to social justice and civic engagement."



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