The Oval Theater in the Marshall Student Center is no stranger to different educational events, but on Wednesday it hosted something different for students to enjoy.
Success in Service: Life after the Peace Corps is a TEDTalk-style event that allows former Peace Corps volunteers to speak candidly about their experiences overseas and various challenges that they faced while abroad.
The event was held Apr. 20 and attracted about 70 students and faculty to learn more about this organization that is so familiar to many of us. The event was comprised of six guest speakers and a brief social.
“I really wanted to bring this event specifically to USF because we are such a diverse school and we could really benefit from this information,” Vanessa Okor, Peace Corps intern and event coordinator, said.
Okor also believes that as a school that students can truly make a difference not just on campus, but off campus and this is a perfect way to give back.
Mark Holbert who served in Romania during 2003-2005 and is a linguistics graduate student at USF believes the Peace Corps is a life-changing experience one that he would do again.
“Not only do you get to give back, but you also gain and learn so much about yourself from the process,” Holbert said. “You definitely build confidence in yourself, a skill necessary to do well in whatever field you want to be in.”
For more information about the Peace Corp please visit its office located in USF Patel College of Global Sustainability.
William Purkey said, “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching.” Bulls for Kids President Tiffani Torres and over 1,300 participants embraced dancing for charity during Dance Marathon at the USF Marshall Student Center.
“All the hard work that I’ve done, and all the tears and all the stress is worth it because no matter what I’m going through right now it could be a lot worse,” Torres said. “What I’m going through is making what they’re going through a lot easier.”
Dance Marathon has members shake it for 12 hours while raising money for the All Children’s Hospitals across the country. What began as a small fundraiser 13 years ago has now turned into USF’s largest student-run philanthropy. Dance Marathon has continued to grow with every donation amount higher than the year before.
By the end of the day, Bulls for Kids collected over $130,000. That’s $27,000 more than last year’s record. Torres knows it’s not just about the money. The event’s real purpose comes from the emotional stories of the miracle children.
Alyson Schuch served as the director of family relations and was able to work hands-on with the miracle families throughout the year. Although the donations are great, Schuch said her satisfaction comes from seeing the children’s smiling faces.
“Not everyone realizes the huge impact that we have on the families,” Schuch said. “When they do come and they speak and they give their thanks, it’s like very eye-opening to everyone.”
With such a large total collected this year, Bulls for Kids hopes to raise over $200,000 next year.