As many as 30 community partners attended the Weber State University volunteer fair on Jan. 24 to introduce opportunities for students in local community projects.

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Hailey Simmons, center, painting the wall of one of the buildings her group erected in Mahubo, Mozambique. (CCEL / Weber State)

Jenny Frame, the community partner coordinator for the Center for Community Engaged Learning, organized the fair this semester. Frame said during this time is when students are most interested in volunteering.

“The Volunteer Fair is a great way for them to find an agency or organization to get involved with to complete their course requirement,” Frame said.

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Kallie DuCharme painting the walls of the classroom and library in Mahubo, Mozambique. (CCEL / Weber State)

According to Frame, WSU has over 100 community engaged learning courses this semester. An example of a CEL course includes COMM 2110, which requires students to complete 8-12 hours of group volunteer work at a community organization.

To accommodate students looking for these opportunities, the volunteer fairs are scheduled twice a year, three weeks into both spring and fall semesters.

University students Ryan Anderson and Sebastian Lawson are both involved in the WSU Medical Academy, a program introducing high school juniors to professors, local physicians and other specialists on campus to prepare them for their college experience.

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From left to right: Keith Ellis, Dina Blue and Danielle Collier painting the walls of a classroom and library in Mahubo, Mozambique. (CCEL / Weber State)

Although their pre-med advisor informed them about the fair through Canvas, Anderson and Lawson were already planning on attending the event after participating in previous volunteer opportunities of when the event normally occurs.

“This would be the first year where we were going to try to get them involved with volunteering service,” Lawson said. “We were seeing if there would be a booth here that could help facilitate that.”

Frame believes the volunteer fair goes beyond providing course requirements: it is a great opportunity to make those on campus aware of the organizations working within the community.

“The Volunteer Fair brings a small slice of the community to Weber’s campus for a few hours each semester and it’s fun to see all of our students interact with the different organizations,” Frame said. “It is also our goal that our community partners are getting beneficial help that will then help them achieve their organizational mission and increase their capacity.”

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