The end of the first week of the fall 2013 semester will bring relief for students, but also a chance to learn about what they can do with their spare time. This fall’s Volunteer Expo will take place Friday.
Each semester, Boise State Student Involvement and Leadership Center pairs with Service-Learning to coordinate the Volunteer Expo. This event introduces students to volunteer agencies and opportunities in the Treasure Valley. The event is open to all students—whether beginning their first year of college or finishing their last. The expo will be set up for four hours so students can walk through at their own convenience.
Nonprofit organizations and other groups will have booths where students can talk with agency members. Students can sign up for email updates about volunteer opportunities, or take pamphlets with information.
The expo serves to “bridge the gap between community partners and students,” said Erin VanDenburgh, campus program coordinator for SILC.
The expo—which VanDenburgh called a “buffet of options”—usually hosts approximately 40 charities and/or non-profit organizations. At the moment, the expo has about 30 organizations signed up, but VanDenburgh expects more last-minute participants.
Boise State senior communication major Molly Valceschini works as a programming assistant for SILC. She is in charge of ensuring the details of the expo—for instance, securing the venue. Though in years past the expo has taken place upstairs in one of the Student Union ballrooms, this year it has moved downstairs.
“We’re hoping this year, with the new location, it’ll just cause even more students to be coming through,” said Valceschini.
Valceschini sees the event as improving students’ college experience.
“You might be able to find something (at the expo) that really sparks your interest and helps you develop a passion for something that you wouldn’t have found in the classroom,” Valceschini said.
Some organizations, which have participated in the past, are the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Idaho, INC., Nampa Police Department, Peace Corps and Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity.
The Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity participated in the Volunteer Expo last fall. Volunteer Coordinator for the Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity Sarah Waltman remarked favorably on the event.
“The students were very enthusiastic,” Waltman said.
Since the Boise Valley Habitat for Humanity didn’t have work for students at the time of its participation in the expo, it’s too difficult to tell if the expo helped to bring volunteers. Yet, Waltman said Habitat for Humanity “collected a lot of info about students interested in participating.”
Though for this very reason—a lack of projects in the fall—the Habitat won’t be participating in this fall’s expo, Waltman expressed interest in the upcoming expo in the spring.
“It (the Volunteer Expo) is definitely something we’ll do again in the future,” Waltman said.
The Volunteer Expo will take place on Friday, Aug. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union Atrium—on the first floor near the Boise River Café, directly below the Student Involvement and Leadership Center.
More information can also be found on the Student Involvement and Leadership Center’s website at getinvolved.boisestate.edu.