Volunteer efforts have lasting impact on students and their communities
Hawkeye Community College was founded 50 years ago to serve the needs of the community. The founding principle was “teach for the future,” and it focused on preparing students for skilled jobs that were in high demand from local employers.
Hawkeye students help kids at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley design and build bridges.
Today, that focus is still at the heart of Hawkeye’s mission. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Hawkeye asked students to find other ways to give back to the community. Student Life challenged student clubs and organizations to complete 50 hours of community service during Hawkeye’s 50th anniversary.
Students met the challenge. So far, Hawkeye student clubs and organizations have racked up more than 400 volunteer hours at dozens of local charities, schools, and community events:
- Boys and Girls Club
- Cedar Bend Humane Society
- Celebrate Recovery
- Community Meals
- Hartman Reserve
- Hickory Hills
- LifeServe Blood Drive
- Northeast Iowa Food Bank
- Meals on Wheels
- Ronald McDonald House
- Rosewood Estates
- Salvation Army
- Special Olympics
- The Space
- UNI Relay for Life
Many students also volunteered at local schools and churches, and clubs participated in Adopt-a-Family during the holidays.
And they’re not done yet. Student volunteers will continue working throughout the fall to show the true spirit of community in Hawkeye Community College.
– Jason Staker
For Dominic Lazum, racking up 50 hours of community service isn’t hard. The Waterloo Columbus grad is always busy helping others.
“I like helping people,” said Lazum, a student in the Liberal Arts Transfer program. “It’s one of my favorite things to do.”
Since coming to Hawkeye in 2014, Lazum has volunteered at the Northeast Iowa Food Bank and helped pick up trash with the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. A native of Burma, he has also volunteered with the International Student Organization.
Most of his volunteer time is spent at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Cedar Valley, helping Hawkeye math instructor Karen Ernst conduct STEM activities with the kids every other week.
“I’ve had great luck finding dedicated students who work very well with the club kids,” Ernst said. “It’s amazing to watch the interactions and the growth of our students as they give of themselves to the kids.”
Lazum is one of several Hawkeye students who assists with activities that include building robots, creating glow-in-the-dark play dough and color-changing candies, and an egg drop challenge.
“I like working with the kids because they’re really energetic,” Lazum said. “We have fun, we create things, we learn science.”
Volunteering keeps Lazum busy, but he likes it that way. It’s taught him how to manage his time and stay on top of school work.
“It showed me what I can do in order to help others,” he said. “Being involved while at Hawkeye has made me a better person.”