More ways UH is making a difference

September 19th, 2008  |  by  |  Published in Features, Sept. 2008

At the University of Hawaiʻi, service is nothing new. Here are some of the recent efforts by people affiliated with the UH System are making a difference.

Being active

At UH Mānoa, Mortar Board and Golden Key International Honour Society have a long history of service to campus and community. In 2007, both received national recognition for their efforts—the Hui Poʻokela chapter of Mortar Board for its coin drive to purchase Christmas gifts for children on the Salvation Army Angel Tree and Golden Key for activities including peer mentoring, beach cleanups, weed eradication efforts and charitable donation drives.

Reaching out

Ka Mea Kolo entomology club at UH Mānoa helps with educational outreach, such as interacting with 500 grade school students who attended the spring Agriculture Awareness Day at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources’ Urban Garden Center.

Karina Phipps with Ecuadoran kids

Karina Phipps with Ecuadoran kids

Playing Santa

While teaching English at the University of Cuenca as WorldTeach volunteers in 2007, recent UH Mānoa graduates Chris and Karina Phipps began working with a women’s shelter in the Ecuadoran town. A pen-pal project with a school in hometown Enumclaw, Wash., soon turned into an all-out Christmas celebration for the families in the shelter. Donations through their Change for Change fundraiser provided a party, presents for the mothers and children and a play set for the shelter.

Promoting political awareness

At Maui Community College, students strive for social justice through the Peace Club and Human Rights Club. The Peace Club, sponsors speakers, films and discussions; participates in community activities and teaches non-violent communication skills. The Human Rights Club educates members about various issues.

Creating relationships

Working with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, students in UH Mānoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine are serving as mentors to fourth and fifth grade students from Nānākuli Intermediate School. The college students meet at least monthly with their counterparts, introducing possible careers along with some fun learning. The program is co-sponsored by Kamehameha Schools and Honolulu Academy of Arts. The project extends the medical students’ tradition of service in a new direction. Meanwhile, the health clinics they staff for homeless citizens have expanded to four Oʻahu shelters.

Learning from each other

Maui Community College Assistant Professor of Spanish Molli Fleming has proof that homework makes a difference. Assisted by two former students and working with community representatives, she arranged get-togethers where her students can practice their Spanish and Hispanic immigrants can improve their English. Fleming invites area professionals as well. For her efforts, Fleming received the Enlace Hispano organization’s Cesar Chavez Award and a congratulatory resolution from the Maui County Council.

Read more stories in The Urge to Do Good series:

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