(July 2, 2013) -- Early last week, nearly 5,000 people crossed political, racial, religious, age and geographic boundaries to come together during the 2013 Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service in Washington, D.C. Nico Cousby, Jantel Fontenot and CaShonda Henderson, executive members of the UTSA Volunteer Organization Involving Community Education and Service (VOICES), and Cristina Dominguez, UTSA program coordinator of volunteer services, were among the participants at the global conference.
"Service is the greatest unifying force in America," said Neil Bush, chairman of the Points of Light organization. Throughout the week, political leaders, activists, service leaders and businesses came together to show that notion in action.
Conference participants were able to hear conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly, liberal political strategist Donna Brazile, Karl Rove, former advisor to President George W. Bush, David Plouffe, former advisor to President Barack Obama, and Valerie Jarett, current senior advisor to the President, speak on the theme of service.
In a later panel, the students heard from a panel of leaders from diverse backgrounds including Congressman Joaquin Castro, representatives from Teach For America, FEED, and the Corporation for National and Community Service. John Legend, Grammy-winning R&B artist and education activist, closed the ceremony with a performance and remarks.
The UTSA students attended informational sessions on service-learning, leadership, civic engagement and empowering volunteers taught by a variety of experts. During the week in Washington, they also participated in two service projects. They helped package 1 million "All American Mac n' Cheese" meals for the Capital Area Food Bank and joined other organizations at the National Mall for the Servapalooza Service Festival, where they spruced up national monuments through planting and gardening efforts.
The trip was possible through funding by the UTSA Student Affairs Transformation Fund Grant.
"The Transformation Fund Grant gives a student with any background or status the opportunity to grow and learn," said Henderson, who was thrilled to visit the nation's Capitol for the first time.
This fall, VOICES will celebrate 20 years of service on the UTSA campus. Learn more at the VOICES website.
Learn about volunteer opportunities at the UTSA Volunteer Services website, visit the Volunteer Services office in H-E-B University Center Room 1.216 on the UTSA Main Campus or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The UTSA community welcomes students to their on-campus home! Laurel Village, Chaparral Village and Alvarez Hall are home for 2,300 students during the academic year, and Move-In event kicks off the start of Roadrunner Days.
Laurel Village, Chaparral Village, Alvarez Hall, Main Campus
The College of Engineering hosts this seminar featuring Jeff Adams, Southwest Zone Quality Manager, Siemens Building Technologies Division. The event is free and open to the public.
Engineering Building (EB 3.04.30), Main Campus
This is a terrific opportunity for incoming transfer students to network with staff that serve our veteran, non-traditional, and transferring students, as well as meet transfer peer mentors who can help answer questions about UTSA.
Main Building ground floor lobby, Main Campus
After a day full of moving and getting settled into their new UTSA home, students and their families can have some refreshments and snacks at the Welcome Back Reception. The event tops off with the premiere performance of the Spirit of San Antonio, UTSA's Marching Band.
University Center Paseo, Main Campus
Can you survive the library wilderness? As a part of Roadrunner Days, UTSA Libraries is hosting a mobile adventure for you to play and find out more about the library!
John Peace Library, 2nd floor, Main Campus
Come meet your UTSA Volleyball Team as they gear up for the 2017 season! The game begins at 5 p.m. then the team will hold an autograph and photo session after the game.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
This engaging discussion pulls back the covers on hooking up, clarifying when it’s actually sexual violence and how bystanders can protect potential victims from predators.
University Center, Retama Auditorium (UC 2.02.02), Main Campus
Late Night at the Rec is an awesome UTSA tradition that transforms a standard information session into an exciting night of fun. At this annual event, you’ll be able to learn about our facilities, recreation programs, and wellness services offered at Main and Downtown Campuses.
Recreation and Wellness Center, Main Campus
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.