This archived article was written by: Jennifer Jarrett
The SUN Center is not just a CEU organization, similar program are on many college and university campus’throughout Utah. The SUN (Serving Utah Network) Involvement Center is a student run service program allowing all willing students to get involved and participate in service projects in their community.
CEU has one of the best organized programs in the state, directed by Kathy Murray. When representatives came from all throughout Utah for the ‘Get A Life’ campaign, the representatives were impressed and used idea’s generated from CEU’s program for their respective colleges.
Amy Callor, in her second year serving as the president of the SUN Center, will be leaving in December for full-time service elsewhere. Since she took reins and began to head up the SUN Center, she has made several positive additions. One of her main projects, is the “Americorps UCAN (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico) Serve Education Award Program.”
Callor explained the program as “a program that will allow students who serve to receive an incentive. Those students who participate and give enough hours of service are rewarded with scholarships. Students who give 300 hours of service receive $1,000, 450 hours will receive $1,250, and for 900 hours of service (which can be extended over two-academic years) a student will receive $2,363.”
CEU was given a total of 47 awards for students who decide to accept the challenge and serve. Forty of the 300 hours slot and seven of the 450 hours slot are available through the SUN Center. Twenty-eight of the slots have already been given to students who have begun their various projects.
Romer Ferrer, one of the 28 students who have joined Americorps said, “This is an awesome opportunity for students to get involved with the community. I really enjoy it a lot. Service is such a great opportunity.
“I work in the Castle Heights Elementary School and the Castle Valley Center. Everywhere I go, little kids run up to me and give me hugs. The parents are really grateful for the good example I try to be for their kids. It feels so good to be a part of the community and to know that I am helping others. Americorps is a great scholarship that will help you even in the future because it can be put on your resumes and it looks really good. I never really had heard about it before, but people do know now and it looks great.”
“It is a wonderful program. We all know service is not about receiving awards, but this program demonstrates the respect our government has for service and the youth that are so willing to give of their time to help others. This seems like a program everybody would want to join and be involved in. The main students we see are ones who have been service oriented or participating with service for a majority of their lives or in the recent past,” Callor explained.
“UCAN Serve was a major success last year. We recommend one thing. If you want to participate in this program you must be serious and follow through with the service and paper work. If you take a slot and do not fulfill your service hours, we can not give it to anyone else.
“We do hope students will want to join and participate, there are lots of service opportunities and activities that the SUN Center puts on for people wanting to participate in service for fun, for a class, or for this program in particular.” Adam Hebdon, Vice-President of the SUN Center has also been hard at work getting other programs and service opportunities organized for the CEU students. Recently he has been working on getting more service learning classes offered for the service oriented students at CEU. Service learning is a great class that gives CEU students an opportunity to get credits for service. Hebdon is working to start additional service learning classes so that students may get a variety of service each semester they are here.
The SUN Center also offers a service learning Scholars Program that gives recognition to those dedicated students who complete a rigorous and enriching program of curriculum-based service-learning. There are a few requirements the Service-Learning Scholar honor student must complete in order to graduate with this honorary recognition. The student must complete six credit hours of service-learning; two hundred hours of community service; and leadership of a service project that met a critical community need and the student must have worked closely with one or more community agencies. This is a great opportunity to go further in higher education with the honors of service and the education you focus yourself towards.
Hebdon explained, “There are many different opportunities to gain through service. The effects made to your personal self are tremendous, but there are still a variety of scholarships, recognition, and awards out there for service. Go visit the SUN Center and ask. They have all those answers for you.”
Kathy Murray, director of the SUN Center stated, “Throughout all of my experiences in service, there are always so many benefits that come from service. When you serve, you’re not only benefiting the ones you serve, but through your sacrifice you are learning and giving yourself many new skills.
“Some of the benefits I have noticed students receive when they serve are: leadership training, job experience and skills, and civic education. It is a real resume booster.
“I think that students should get involved and take the opportunity to serve their school and community.” Ferrer reminded us, “It is the greatest opportunity ever, to serve others. Nothing can beat it.”