As I continued my academic journey to graduate school at Kutztown University, I was looking for ways to further my academic career, leadership skills, and involvement with my community both on and off campus. Still, I was finding it difficult to find programs that offered that level of support in the field I was interested in.
During the 2022 academic year, I worked at our Center for Community Engagement office on campus, and my mentors shared with me the opportunity to apply as a GivePulse Ambassador for the first cohort in ‘22 - ‘23. As a lifelong volunteer interested in bringing service to the students on my campus, the GivePulse Ambassador Program felt like a perfect fit for me as it was not as intensive as some of the other programs and was built for student life, leaving room and consideration for outside tasks, coursework, and even other internships.
As graduate students, our lives are often busy with coursework, assistantships or jobs, and academic commitments. However your schedule might be, it's crucial to remember that we can make a difference in the community, no matter how busy we are.
For me, becoming a GivePulse Ambassador as part of the initial cohort (October ‘22 - April ‘23) has been a transformative experience and allowed me to balance my academic pursuits and make a meaningful social impact with a low level of commitment.
What is the GivePulse Ambassador Program (GPA)?
The GivePulse Ambassador program allows anyone from undergrad, graduate, and even AmeriCorps members to participate in a year-long course (October-April) hosted by the GivePulse team. The GPA program allowed me to get an inside look at what it’s like to work at GivePulse, receive GivePulse training, and connect and collaborate with other Ambassadors across the country.
I’m fortunate that my mentors in the community engagement office on campus advocated, supported, and encouraged me to join the GivePulse Ambassador program to not only strengthen my knowledge of GivePulse to help my campus better utilize the platform but also to develop my leadership skills and learn from students across the country using GivePulse.
As an Ambassador, expect to attend one meeting a month with one training module to complete each month. One of the things I enjoyed most about the Ambassador program was the opportunity to learn how campuses across the country are utilizing the platform and how I could leverage that data to enhance the usage on my campus. Occasionally, GivePulse will host social media competitions and events, allowing you the opportunity to win grants for your community engagement center on campus or for your community partners!
If you are worried about the commitment level of joining the program, fear not! GivePulse acknowledges that students have busy lives, and they intentionally designed the ambassador program to be flexible. By participating in the program, I found that I could commit as little as a few hours per month and still make a meaningful impact. This flexibility empowered me to create my schedule and ensured that I didn't compromise my academic responsibilities, all while enhancing my leadership and networking skills!
The Impact of the GivePulse Ambassador Program
Being an Ambassador means being a representative for GivePulse on your campus. Through engaging with different campuses and the GivePulse team, I relayed valuable information to my campus on how we can utilize the platform. I have also hosted events on my campus and taught others about the platform and its importance on volunteer management, tracking and scheduling, and beyond. These experiences were not only invaluable in my academic journey but also in my future career.
As a graduate student, my time in academia is temporary, but the impact I can create as a GivePulse Ambassador is lasting. By contributing my skills, knowledge, and passion to various causes, I am leaving a positive mark on the community that will continue to flourish even after I've moved on to new pursuits. I have also found myself inspiring others in my academic circle to give back. By sharing my experiences and the impact I've witnessed, I've motivated my peers to explore opportunities and projects to volunteer and support, making a collective difference in our local area.
Being a GivePulse Ambassador as a graduate student has been an incredibly rewarding journey. Through this program, I've been able to maintain a balance between my academic commitments and my desire to create a positive social impact. The low level of commitment has made it accessible for students like me to give back to the community without compromising on our education and other pursuits. I hope students in community engagement offices consider becoming a GivePulse Ambassador to both understand the platform and give back to their community.
If you are interested in learning more about being a GivePulse Ambassador, visit our page here!
GivePulse's mission is to enable everyone in the world to participate and engage in lifting their community to new heights. We do so by providing a platform to list, find, organize, and measure the impact of service-learning, community engagement, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, and volunteerism.
Founded in 2012 in Austin, Texas, GivePulse works with 650,000+ groups, including colleges and universities, nonprofits, businesses, K-12/school districts, and cities and municipalities. Together, we connect millions of people in an effort to create positive social change.
Start making a difference today by visiting www.givepulse.com.
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