February 27, 2021

Volunteer Spotlight


This archived article was written by: Christine Olsen

Nathan Zilles is a freshman from College Ward, Utah, located in Cache Valley. Zilles grew up in this community of 600 people on a dry farm, which is a farm that relies on an irrigation system and rain to grow crops. He graduated from Mountain Crest High School in 2001 and worked for one year before serving an LDS mission to Argentina-Codaba. After returning, Zilles came to CEU because, “I always wanted to go to a small school and CEU just felt right.” His major is undecided but he is leaning towards majoring in family counseling.
Zilles has one brother and two sisters and enjoys hunting in Logan Canyon, hiking in the Uintah Mountains, fishing, and breaking horses using the horse whispering method. Zilles’ own horse is named Lucy, which is short for Lucifer. He also enjoys mountain biking, snowmobiling, riding 4-wheelers and doing anything outdoors.
This year Zilles is the SUN Center student leader over environmental projects. He chose environmental projects because “I love being outdoors. Being inside is boring.” Kathy Murray, SUN Center director, is thrilled to have Zilles as a leader. “He’s wonderful. He has taken on the huge task of the Nine-Mile cleanup project and has been very successful. He has a great desire to serve and is always willing to help others. His older brother John was a SUN Center leader a few years ago and I think it’s great that now Nathan is here too.”
Zilles’ first service project was held last Saturday. He and a group of 21 volunteers traveled to Nine-Mile Canyon. “We went to Daddy Canyon up Nine-Mile and cleared trails for wheelchairs and people so they can see the pictographs and we also made stone stairs and wood fences. They gave us lunch and we had an awesome time. We saw the original Wildman pictograph painted on a rock and learned so much about the area.” Shelly Gledhill, a project participant, said, “It was awesome. I think we really made a difference.”
Zilles will be organizing similar projects throughout the semester and working closely with the BLM to identify the needs of the area and to fulfill them by organizing service projects. He does service because he loves working with people and chose to be SUN Center student leader “because I like responsibility and I like to serve and make people happy.”
He is also a member of IMA and mentors an at-risk boy through Youth and Families with Promise. He works at the Carriage House Inn in Price and also works for R&R Landscaping who is landscaping the lot next to the Reeves Building.
Zilles’ most embarrassing moment happened when he was 17 years old and driving home with some friends after a demolition derby. “I was driving on main street and a car full of good looking college girls pulled up beside us and asked us to pull over so we could talk. After talking for awhile we all left. At the next red light they were going straight and we were turning right. The girls started doing a Chinese-fire drill and I noticed one of them had a bunch of glow in the dark beads around her neck. She came up to my window and told me I deserved some beads but I would have to earn them by giving her a kiss. I kissed her, and wow! Then I kinda blacked out from the shock of my first kiss so I had to pull off the road and let my friend drive home. The next day everyone had heard about it.”
Zilles has the following advice for fellow students: “Take advantage of every opportunity to learn, have fun, and to serve others so that when you’re older, you do not regret this moment in life.”

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