In the last year, not only have they taken the many time and labor intensive steps to establish an official club on ASU campus, Alyssa has helped coordinate numerous volunteer engagement opportunities for ASU students including supporting Swift After School, Swift Saturdays and the Swift Carnival. The ASU club has had such a positive experience in the last year, they have even started fundraising for Swift through Swift Gives Day and writing a special grant to help create even more positive Swift programming. We sat down with Alyssa to ask her about her experience and how other college-age Swift volunteers can establish their own College Swift Clubs on their campuses.
(Swift) Question: So Alyssa, tell us a little more about why you decided to establish the first College Swift Club and how the mission of this club will add value to Swift as an organization?
(Alyssa) Answer: "We had a phenomenal time volunteering at Camp Swift, but we realized that there really is more to Swift than just the camp. So we wanted to bring college mentors to Swift After School programs. By exposing these college students to Swift After School programs, it allowed young impressionable elementary students to start thinking about what college is like and what they want to do when they get older. More and more people are now exposed to Swift Youth Foundation which in turn allows the foundation to grow as a whole. We plan to have fundraiser events throughout the next semester to help raise money for the Swift programs too! Our mission is to get college students more involved in the Swift Youth Foundation.
(Swift): That's really incredible! So what does a member of the College Swift Club do? Can you describe the types of activities that your club has participated in during your inaugural year?
(Alyssa): "Every week we have 2-5 volunteers on average go to a Swift After School program at Crockett Elementary. We were able to do this because most of us did not have class around this time. Volunteers also would make it out to the Swift Saturdays at Palomino Boys and Girls club which allowed volunteering time for those who were unable to make it to the weekday programs. We tried our best to post pictures every week on Club's approved Swift Instagram account of the programs we attended. Meetings were held once a month so we prepared for those a week beforehand in order to get all of the powerpoint slides ready and make sure we had all the information our members needed to know. The e-board members met up once a month to talk about what ways we could make the club better. We found out about a grant that allowed us to create our own idea to help the community. $1,500 was awarded to our club because of our idea called “Swift University”. This idea will expose the youth at Palomino Boys & Girls club to different majors they choose from when they go off to college.
(Swift): Wow! It sounds like the ASU College Swift Club has been pretty busy! So, we're wondering, how do you keep your club members engaged? What's the "WIIFM? (What's in it for me?)" Whether you create the club, join as a member, become a club officer, etc, what value does it bring to someone looking to get involved?
(Alyssa): "Getting involved with Swift on campus allows you to build a small community with like-minded people. It gets you involved in the community by volunteering and helps you create new lifelong friends. As an officer you learn leadership skills and what it takes to run a club. As a member you are also a leader because you mentor youth who are very impressionable at such a young age. Swift gives you 100 hours of community service from Camp Swift and allows you to build on to your resume. Saying you are a part of a club on campus also steps your resume up, especially if you started up this club. Being passionate about Swift shows you truly care about helping the future generation. This type of community service and starting up a club shows you can be a leader and continues to spread the word about how important this foundation is."
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