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CELTS Showcases Service Opportunities

Through last week’s Volunteer Extravaganza, Berea’s Center for Excellence in Learning Through Service (CELTS) introduced eager, service-minded students to the wide variety of service organizations on campus.

Students gather information about volunteer opportunities

Now in its 8th year, the Extravaganza has consistently lined Bruce-Trades Building corridors with opportunities for students to serve the Berea community.

“It [Volunteer Extravaganza] offers Berea College students the ability to discover many opportunities to volunteer and help Berea grow as a community,” said Jamie Helle, a junior.

Organizations catering to young children, adolescents, families and the elderly were in attendance. These included Adopt-a-Grandparent, Berea Buddies, Big Brother Big Sister, Boys and Girls Club, College Bound, First Book, Habitat for Humanity, Heal, Micah 6 Transportation System, One-on-One Tutoring, Peace Craft, People Who Care and Teen Mentoring.

Several groups represented at the Extravaganza involved student-led tutoring or buddy programs, while others focused on environmental education, construction or just general volunteerism. HEAL, a social environmental activism group in attendance, focused on personal and structural change to create a more sustainable world. Corrie Spellman, a student director of HEAL, explained the ways her organization is trying to make a difference by saying, “We promote Fair Trade products in the cafeteria, commuting with bicycles and the 10 x 10 renewable energy programs on campus, as well as programs that take us outside of the state.” In the fall, Heal plans to participate in the protest of School of the Americas located in Georgia, a school that is known for training foreign militias to torture and kill their enemies.

At another table, the Berea Chapter of Habitat for Humanity was busy at work building dreams for Berea’s low income families. Donating their weekends, student volunteers roll up their sleeves and pick up hammers for those in need of a home. Oliver Bugariski, a student director of Habitat explained his group’s mission stating, “We really want to improve substandard housing, do fundraising for homes and supply single parent families with living space.”

According to Betty Hibler, associate director of CELTS, “the list of programs has grown exponentially since the Extravaganzas conception and has given Berea College’s students the opportunity to acquaint themselves with non-profit organizations on campus.”

“I think interaction with the community is good,” said Grace Todd, a junior in attendance. “It’s like students are in their own Berea Bubble until they volunteer.”

Although, the “Volunteer Extravaganza” has come to an end, these and other service organizations are still searching for energetic volunteers. If you would like further information, contact Betty Hibler at (859) 985-3935 or

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