More than 130 students from The University of Texas-Pan American joined 100 other volunteers from the University staff, Boys and Girls Club members and people from the community to make a big difference at the Alamo/San Juan Boys and Girls Club facility during the national Make a Difference Day Oct. 28.
"The annual Make a Difference Day is the largest community service effort in the nation and brings together educational institutions, corporations, government leaders, charitable organizations and citizens to work together on one special day," said Amy Martin, director of the UTPA Student Leadership Academy, which sponsored this year's project. "The University is very proud that the number of volunteers for this year's project almost tripled from last year."
"We made a difference one brush stroke at a time," said UTPA student Melinda Barrera, a Student Leadership Academy member, who volunteered.
Other student volunteers said they appreciated the opportunity to give to others.
"Helping the Boys and Girls Club was a great opportunity to give something to the children of the Valley," said Celina Gilpatrick, a member of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honor Society. John-Robert Iruegas, a UTPA Student Government Association member, said the project did more than strengthen the community.
"It also strengthened us as individuals," he said.
In addition to the efforts that day, UTPA student organizations also collected more than 1,800 items of school, crafts, sports and other supplies for the facility. Participating UTPA organizations included the following: Student Government Association, Association of Migrant Students, Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Residence Housing Association, Hispanic Business Student Organization, Premedical/Bio-Medical Society, Gamma Lambda Beta, Sigma Tau Delta, PSA/Pre-Law, Society of Women Engineers, Delta Zeta, Social Work Student Association, and BRIDGE.
For more information on Make a Difference Day projects conducted nationwide, log on to www.makeadifferenceday.com.