There are students who enjoy volunteering during their free time, and there are volunteer enthusiasts. Senior Amy Bachman fits into the second group.
“We’re here to do so much more than academics, we need to experience the community,” says Bachman, a history major from Potomac, Md. “Volunteering has opened my eyes to the larger community around me and supported what I have learned in the classroom. It’s one thing to study the principles of communism; it’s another to visit a Vietnamese village and see the influence of communism on everyday life.”
In recognition of her volunteerism over the last four years, Bachman was one of 27 college students from across North Carolina to be awarded the Community Impact Student Award and a certificate of appreciation from Governor Beverly Perdue. The award recognizes not only her volunteer efforts and her work with advisory boards for Wake Forest’s Volunteer Service Corps and Amnesty International but also her ability to inspire other students to get involved.
Bachman’s service trip to Vietnam was just one of her many undertakings. From her first days on campus, she embraced the University’s Pro Humanitate motto by participating in the S.P.A.R.C. (Students Promoting Action and Responsibility in the Community) program—a four-day “urban plunge” volunteering in Winston-Salem prior to New Student Orientation.
With Project H.O.P.E., Bachman mentored young children at the Special Children’s School in Winston-Salem. In her sophomore year, she began volunteering with Campus Kitchen, an organization that uses cooked but never served food from the campus dining hall to make healthy and nutritious meals for the needy in the Winston-Salem community. This year, she served on the Campus Kitchen executive board and managed all the cooking shifts.
During spring break of her sophomore year, she was one of 16 Wake Forest students who volunteered in Gulf Coast communities devastated by Hurricane Katrina.
When Haiti was recently devastated by an earthquake, Bachman helped organize a benefit concert that raised nearly $1,800. “Those of us who organized the event knew that something on a grand scale needed to be done,” she said. “I wanted there to be a way for Wake Forest students to do something active and to help people feel they could be a part of the relief effort.”
After graduation, Bachman hopes to work with AmeriCorps or with a nonprofit organization. “Through my classes I have learned of injustices and problems in the world and our community. By volunteering I have seen the reality of the world for myself. Experience is the best way to learn, and volunteering is a direct way to experience the lives of others. I want to continue to experience the lives of others by giving of myself.”
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