The joys of volunteering

BY KAHLA STATEMA | The Statesman It is said that volunteering looks great on any college resume and it can increase networking opportunities and help build career options.

However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2014 economic news release shows that volunteer rates in the United States were lowest among 20 to 24 year olds at only 18.7 percent. 16 to 19 year olds had a volunteer rate of 26.1 percent.

“Employers are looking for students that are motivated and they judge motivation based off of how many hours of service a student has done,” Joie Acheson Lee, the associate director of the Kirby Student Center and the Kirby Leadership Institute, said.

The Kirby Leadership Institute (KLI) allows any student to receive the UMD Leadership Certificate after completing 250 hours of service.

“The main thing for Kirby Leadership Institute is that a student is able to create a leadership resume,” Acheson Lee said.

A leadership resume is an addition to the traditional one-page resume and serves as a portfolio that lists all of the leadership activities that a student has completed while they attended UMD. UMD does not offer a leadership major or minor and only LSBE students have access to leadership courses.

“We’ve created this co-curricular program that allows us to highlight and to market our students for the leaders that they are,” Acheson Lee said.

One UMD alumnus that had received the UMD Leadership Certificate is Duluth City Councilor Zack Filipovich.

Examples of community organizations that have partnered with UMD include Animal Allies, the Damiano Center and the Homegrown Music Festival that takes place every spring. Bentleyville is another place that partners with UMD. This year, Bentleyville has found themselves short on volunteers.

“We need 60 volunteers every night,” Nathan Bentley, the founder of Bentleyville, said. “The other night, we only had one costume character and we need 15 costume characters every night.”

Volunteering opportunities at UMD include the Tweed Museum of Art, the tour guide program and the UMD Children’s Place.

Aside from KLI, UMD also has a student volunteering organization called Students Engaged in Rewarding Volunteer Experiences, or SERVE.

“Students go out into the community and find different volunteering opportunities that they can partner with,” senior Krista Anderson said. “I’ve been a member of SERVE since freshman year.”

In SERVE, a student has to complete 15 hours of service per semester to be an active member or 25 hours of service per semester to be an honorary member.

“One that I have done in the past is Boo at the Zoo. You go and help them run their event,” Anderson said.

Anderson is also a part of KLI.

“You get to meet people out in the community and you can use volunteering as a networking opportunity,” Anderson said. “And you feel good when you help people.”

Acheson Lee said volunteering is just an extra tool for students to get a job. Volunteering is also personally beneficial for any college student.

“The student does pick up skills, abilities and experience while they’re volunteering,” Acheson Lee said.

If you are interested in receiving the UMD Leadership Certificate through KLI, contact Joie Acheson Lee at (218) 726-8740 or email her at


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