Nearly 204 student volunteers and 12 student volunteer site leaders participated in 18 events at 12 community sites during the fifth annual Sophomore Days of Service (SDOS), hosted by First- and Second-Year Experience (FSYE) in February. Sophomore students were invited to volunteer on campus and in the DeKalb community. Following their volunteer experiences, students reflected on the opportunity to help others, build relationships and connect with the community.
Some highlights from February 2017 SDOS include the number of volunteers doubling from 2016 to 2017, and the number of volunteer partner sites increasing by 80 percent.
From a sizable pool of applicants, sophomore Amanda Aseron was awarded the 2017 Sophomore Days of Service Scholarship for her dedication to service in the community. On February 28, the Heartland Blood Center partnered with SDOS for a blood drive held in the Campus Life Building. Heartland Blood Center was able to provide a $10 donation for every blood donor towards a scholarship for a sophomore student who actively engaged in community service and SDOS.
Additionally, a total of 1,148 books were collected to be donated to Lutheran Social Services of Illinois’ Storybook Project, Hope Haven, Camp Power and other local partners. FSYE partnered with the Common Reading Experience Student Organization and Lambda Sigma Sophomore Honor Society to organize a book drive throughout February and March.
After volunteering, students written reflections revealed that they felt closer to the community and NIU, they felt good knowing they made a difference and would continue to volunteer in the future.
FYSE thanks all of the sites for their work and welcoming NIU student volunteers which included: Barb Food Mart, Huskie Student Food Pantry, TAILS Humane Society, Raven’s Husky Haven & Rescue, Communiversity Gardens, Campus Childcare, Barb City Manor, Kishwaukee YMCA, DeKalb Public Library, West Elementary School, DeKalb Area Women’s Center and Heartland Blood Center. And the following students for serving as site leaders: Charles Pohorsky, Miranda Cox, Hamzah Chaudhry, Sarah Hillbloom, Alexis Massman, Shalyn Houston, Caitlyn Klein, Mikaylah Booker, Marissa Dawson, Amanda Aseron, Anetia Dickens and Yeon Woo Kim.
FYSE was appreciative of various campus partners for helping to promote and participate in the 2017 SDOS as well. They included Business Passport, Honors Engaged, Lambda Sigma, Pi Sigma Epsilon and Alpha Phi Omega in addition to various other organizations across campus.
For questions about SDOS, please contact Kelly Smith, director of First- and Second-Year Experience at [email protected] or 815-753-0028. For more information about Second-Year Experience events and programming visit niu.edu/fsye.