Sophomore combines passion for business, service as LEAPS liaison

Blaire Butler, a sophomore business major, has applied classroom lessons to her job as a TCU LEAPS liaison. She said she has had a passion for service work and business since high school but found the two came together when accomplishing tasks within the TCU LEAPS program.

Butler said the nonprofit organizations she worked with were run and structured just like any ordinary profit-making business. With this knowledge, she made efforts to maximize efficiency and complete her service goals. She accomplished her goal to successfully establish Alliance for Children as a LEAPS location this spring. Alliance for Children is an advocacy group for abused children that provides investigative, clinical and educational services to Tarrant County victims and the community.

Q: Can you explain your initiative to commit to service and why service is important for you.

A: Initially, I started doing service as a way to give back, but it has evolved into so much more and has made a big impact on my life. Service is such a valuable experience. Not only are you making an impact on the community, but you gain a new set of skills necessary for living and working in the real world. Service can contribute to who you will be and what you will do after college. Volunteering has given me important life experiences, which have come to define my world view, and has also contributed to my development of a unique skill set necessary a lot of times for employment. Being a business student, I have noticed the business school really emphasizes service and encourages students to take an active role in the community. I hope to build relationships in the community and contacts, so after college I can go back and volunteer or use my business knowledge to help nonprofit organizations.

Q: What has your experience with TCU LEAPS been like, and what is the role you have in the organization?

A: As a freshman, I started my first semester in TCU LEAPS by participating as a volunteer and instantly loved the program. Starting my sophomore year, I took on a bigger role as a liaison. Being a liaison, I go to meetings and partner with a certain service site to organize everything for the day of LEAPS. I have gone to three different sites over my past two years in LEAPS.

Q: What three service sites have you been involved in with LEAPS?

A: I first started with the Eastside YMCA as a volunteer coach after they voiced their need for coaches during my first LEAPS trip. I played soccer all my life, and it just so happens that they needed a soccer coach, so I thought it would be a perfect match. Next, I volunteered with Reading Frogs on campus, and now I am with Alliance for Children. Alliance for Children is an advocacy group for child victims of domestic abuse, which was a great eye-opening experience.

Q: Why did Alliance for Children stand out for you?

A: It was the group’s first experience with TCU LEAPS, and I wanted it to be special. They are doing such a great job in the community and were extremely organized and a pleasure to work with. There was a group of Neeley School students with me, and we all had such a good time and felt this program was truly special as a nonprofit. It was also great to work with other business school students because there was just so much productivity and creative ideas. We would be assigned a task and evaluate the most efficient way to accomplish it. We would set up assembly lines and lay out road plans. We got a lot accomplished, and I walked away feeling proud. I was thrilled when they told us they had a great first-time experience, and now Alliance for Children is planning on a follow-up event, which will actually be held on the TCU campus.

Q: What would you say to students who want to get started in service work?

A: It can be difficult reaching out to the community as a college student because it’s easy to be intimidated not only with identifying issues in the community but in finding the right organization to lend a hand to. It’s also very time-consuming and a lot of hard work. But, TCU LEAPS is a great place for students to start being more service-oriented. LEAPS has become a resource for getting the message out to Fort Worth that TCU students want to help make an impact in making a better life for those less fortunate.