(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.
Campers in 9th grade through college will receive instruction and coaching on agility testing and position specific drills to refine and improve his skillset as a football player.
Recreational Field Complex, Main Campus
Inspired by UTSA's renowned Mexican Cookbook Collection, the evening features cuisine and spirits of celebrated chefs from San Antonio and Mexico.
Hotel Emma, 136 E. Grayson St., San Antonio
Experience a fun, interactive week at UTSA as new students and their families take the first steps to becoming a Roadrunner.
Various locations, Main Campus
Campers 6-12 years old will enjoy the summer learning to read, write and speak the Chinese language. They also will learn about the Chinese culture such as martial arts, painting and drawing, arts and crafts and more.
Confucius Institute at UTSA (MB 1.208), Main Campus
Campers 7th grade and up will focus on individual development with emphasis on simplifying and teaching the specific skills and movements associated with the game. Serving, passing, setting, attacking and individual defense will all be covered. In addition, team concepts will be emphasized.
Convocation Center, Main Campus
Celebrate Texas' diversity with authentic ethnic cuisine, music, dance, arts and crafts from the many countries that make up the rich heritage of Texas.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures, Hemisfair Campus
Kids from kindergarten through high school will immerse in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math through hands-on activities.
Applied Engineering and Technology (AET 0.102), Main Campus and Buena Vista Street Building (BVB 3.328), Downtown Campus
Novice and experienced boys and girls in grades 1-8 will be divided up by age and ability to gain the most skills and knowledge for their level of play.
Park West Athletics Complex
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.