(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 email@example.com.
Robert Penn Warren said: “How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.” That is certainly true for Carmen Tafolla. An associate professor of practice with the UTSA College of Education and Human Development, Tafolla has authored more than 20 acclaimed books of poetry and prose, including "The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans." It won the Tom´s Rivera Children’s Book Award in 2009.
Tafolla is a San Antonio native who grew up on the West Side. Attending a private high school, she realized that the literature did not positively portray her community or the people who lived there. She determined to change that in her writing. In published works for both adults and children — more than 200 anthologies, magazines, journals, textbooks and readers in four languages — Tafolla reflects on the rich Mexican-American culture of San Antonio in which she grew up.
Did you know? Tafolla was San Antonio's first Poet Laureate, from 2012 to 2014, and currently serves as the Poet Laureate of Texas.
Discover resources and strategies for teaching Tejano history and culture and get a special educator's tour of the new long-term exhibit, Los Tejanos.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
This annual symposium is an opportunity to discuss Texas higher education issues and trends with Texas higher education scholars, state and local government officials, students, and campus and local community members.
This cowboy-themed programming, offered in conjunction with Our Kids Magazine's Kidcation Week, gives families the opportunity to visit with cowboy docents, enjoy readings and visit activity tables.
Institute of Texan Cultures, 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd.
Join President Ricardo Romo, The Spirit of San Antonio Marching Band, students, faculty and staff to light the monument at the Main Campus entrance at the stroke of midnight.
John Peace Boulevard Entrance, Main Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Bill Miller Plaza for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Bill Miller Plaza, Downtown Campus
Join university President Ricardo Romo on the Convocation Center lawn for his annual free BBQ lunch.
Convocation Center East Lawn, Main Campus
The UTSA Alumni Association hosts this annual gala honoring the Alumna of the Year, Alumnus of the Year and the Alumnus of the Year Lifetime Achievement award winners.
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, 9800 Hyatt Resort Dr.
Shrugging off retirement, the Bromley founder plans to earn a PhD and complete a 375-mile race
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.
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