• Pearson Students Partner with Beautifully Loved

    by Megan Cistulli, McKinley Falkowski, and Gloria Wang

    Six young female cancer patients are smiling and sitting on a couch. They are wearing make-up and dress-up clothes.

    “I’m gonna be ugly, Mommy.” The first words out of a six-year-old girl’s mouth as she sat in a hospital bed when she found out she had cancer and was going to lose all of her hair. Everything changed when she met the team from Beautifully Loved at a volunteer event at Dell Children's Blood and Cancer Center.

    After getting permission from her doctors and having the Beautifully Loved beauty teams gear up in protective clothing, the young girl, in isolation getting chemotherapy, received a pamper treatment. At the same time, her mother received a hair and makeup treatment from the beauty teams. The mother stood up after receiving her makeover and glanced at her daughter who just received the pamper treatment. As she stared at her daughter’s face which was covered with a sparkling smile from ear to ear, she said, "You have no idea how important the work you [Beautifully Loved] are doing is for kids like her." She started crying tears of joy as she embraced her daughter. 

    Pearson Student Programs annually partners with a non-profit organization or hospital to create positive impacts in our local communities. Last year, we supported Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee and collected over $5000 worth of gifts from an Amazon Wishlist. This year, Pearson Student Programs and the student-led Social Impact and Sustainability Team is supporting Beautifully Loved, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas. Beautifully Loved supports families with children who are battling chronic illnesses by offering pamper days, photography, clothing support, self-esteem workshops, design programs, fashion events, and care packages. 

    The team created an Amazon wishlist to donate items which Beautifully Loved volunteers use to create care packages for the families they serve. In order to match and hopefully surpass last year’s positive social impact, we have more work to do. Join us in supporting Beautifully Loved as they continue to uplift and empower children and their families by showing them that they are truly beautiful—both inside and out. 

    To learn more about Beautifully Loved, please visit beautifullyloved.org.

    Do you have a compelling story or student success tips you’d like to see published on the Pearson Students blog?  If you are a college student and interested in writing for us – click here to pitch your idea and get started! 

     

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  • Volunteering: Making the most of your time and theirs

    by Mckinley Williams

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    Every April, National Volunteer Week provides an opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service in all types of communities. Volunteering is of special importance to many college students. Scholarships, admissions committees, and potential leadership positions are all looking to see community and civic engagement. Sometimes this can make it feel more like a requirement than an act of service, but with a little effort we can turn that around. 

    Finding the perfect volunteer position for you can take a little time and effort. It is always worthwhile in the end so that you and the community you are serving can get the maximum benefits of your volunteering. Understanding the types of service that exist, learning what makes up a meaningful volunteering experience, and figuring out how to find what you’re passionate about are the keys to maximizing your volunteering experience.  

    Service Options

    The first step to this process is understanding the different types of service you can engage in. Clinical service is often popular for students looking for experience in the medical field, including hospital and clinic settings. This is a good option for people looking for a specific time to come every week. Most college towns also have animal shelters for those who prefer animals over humans. For those who prefer less interaction, food insecurity is an amazing place to start. Soup kitchens and food pantries are always looking for volunteers to cook, clean, and stock shelves. Many campuses even have a food pantry for students suffering from food insecurity. These places are often looking for volunteers and love having a helping hand whenever available. While these are just a few examples, places in your community are always looking for people, you just have to reach out.

    Pick Your Meaning and Passion

    Learning what makes a meaningful experience and figuring out how to maximize your time by finding something you’re passionate about go hand in hand. As a pre-medical student I was primarily focused on finding clinical opportunities where I would volunteer in a hospital setting. While that was great, I was not allowing myself to see the other service opportunities in my community. If I wouldn’t have branched out, I would have never found the local soup kitchen where I have served breakfast every Friday for eight months. Finding an opportunity that makes you excited and gives you something to look forward to every week is the kind of experience everyone wants to find. When you love to serve and are eager to help, both you and the people you are serving are able to reap maximum benefits. 

    My biggest advice throughout this process is to volunteer at a few different local places as one-time experiences, and take time to reflect after each of them. More often than not the type of service that speaks to you the most will reveal itself to you after just one time. But if it doesn’t, that’s OK too; everyone’s experience is different. I can guarantee when you find the right place for you, you will know it. Service is not always about the time you spend, but rather the love, compassion, and concern for others and for your community that you are able to give is.

     

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