Volunteer service helps mold leaders

From the first day of orientation, TCU students are spoon-fed the idea of being ethical leaders and responsible citizens, so it’s not surprising that TCU has a long standing record of volunteerism. This volunteerism ranges from faculty in the 1980s promoting the Heal Hunger campaign amid famine in Ethiopia to the Froghouse projects in which students help build homes for Fort Worth families. With the most common opportunities for TCU students to volunteer coming up – Leaps and Boo at the Zoo – students should take this opportunity to give back to the community with which most students rarely interact. Unfortunately, late night trips to Whataburger or The Pub do not count as reaching out to the community.

In keeping with the attitude of being a responsible citizen, volunteering gives students a chance to prove themselves members of a small community like Fort Worth. Who knows, some may even become more like what their college essay said they thought of themselves back as a high school senior.

A college experience shouldn’t be limited to the books and late-night cramming in the library. Students should take a leap into whatever form of volunteering interests them, from cleaning up a park filled with trash to being a mentor.

Since 2002 the number of student volunteers across the nation increased by 20 percent, according to the Corporation for National Community Service. Last year more than 760 TCU volunteers at 29 agencies, said Peter Thompson program coordinator for Community Involvement and Service Learning at TCU.

With the influx of students in the class of 2011, hopefully these numbers will hold or, even better, increase. TCU students should lead by example and set the precedence for high schoolers in the area, as well as the community at large.

Photo editor Michael Bou-Nacklie for the editorial board.