Students Make Resolutions to Volunteer


GIVING BACK: Tulsa Tech students recently attended a volunteer expo hosted by Volunteer Central and Tulsa Tech.

Now that the holidays are over, we find ourselves returning to work, school and the busy schedules that accompany them. The spirit of giving and helping others sometimes fades as we began a new year, though the needs of those who may be less fortunate do not.

In addition to learning skills for exciting new careers, the students at Tulsa Tech also learn the importance of volunteering and giving back to their community.
Volunteer Central of Greater Tulsa, a local non-profit agency established in 1983, helps connect people with the many opportunities to serve and provides a volunteer environment, which enriches the lives of all area residents.

Brenda Michael-Haggard, the executive director of Volunteer Central, says that people are often drawn to a particular opportunity to volunteer based on a real life experience. “Individuals who have received help or assistance from an organization often want to give something back,” she explains.

Volunteer Central and Tulsa Tech recently hosted a Volunteer Expo where students had the chance to visit with local non-profit, service and civic organizations. The Expo allowed students to explore the many options available and discuss the opportunities that interested them. Thanks to individuals like Jan Keim, Tulsa Tech’s community outreach coordinator, the Expo was a success for both the students and the agencies that participated.

“More than 1200 students attended the Expo to learn more about volunteer and educational opportunities,” says Keim. “Nearly 50 community organizations were able to exhibit various needs to this large group of students.”

Volunteering and serving our community not only benefits those who are in need, but the students as well. Michelle Styve, a second year photography student who volunteers for the Salvation Army and the National Arthritis Foundation, believes that when students volunteer to help, everybody wins.

“Often I think our time is more valuable than money,” notes Styve. “In addition to helping others, I’m meeting new people and showing others my dedication to going above and beyond the usual set of expectations.”

Chelsea Nigh, a senior at Broken Arrow High School, also thinks that there are multiple advantages to serving within her community.

“Of course it’s a great feeling to help others, and that’s first and foremost,” explains Nigh. “Colleges, universities and employers also take notice of these types of activities.”

According to Jenne Secrest, the development coordinator at Volunteer Central, many positive things happen when students get involved.

“Research shows that young people who volunteer continue to volunteer as they grow older, notes Secrest. “Higher grades, better attendance, fewer dropouts, less crime; these are all benefits associated with young people who choose to volunteer.”

Tulsa Tech is committed to training students for exciting new careers and providing opportunities to build a better community.

If you’re currently looking for classes for both high school and adult students, quality business and industry training, along with an opportunity to serve your community, Tulsa Tech invites you to visit today. For more information, please call (918) 828-5200 or visit us online at

Updated 02-15-2010

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