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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Careers, service come together at Volunteer/Internship Fair

Several UNC Pembroke alumni were on campus October 6 to recruit students at the annual Volunteer and Internship Fair.

UNCP student Cindy Edwards (right), an intern with Horizon Point child advocates in Cumberland County, talks with Jessica Stachorski (left) and Amber Bain, freshmen from Cumberland County.

UNCP student Cindy Edwards (right), an intern with Horizon Point child advocates in Cumberland County, talks with Jessica Stachorski (left) and Amber Bain, freshmen from Cumberland County.

Fifty-three organizations and businesses set up shop to recruit volunteers for both community service projects and internships. For many students, volunteering is a pathway to a career.

In a new twist, several current UNCP students were also on hand to recruit their fellow students. Social work major Cindy Edwards was looking for volunteers to work with Horizon Point Child Advocacy, a new non-profit that works with abused children.

“Because we’re new, we are looking for people who want to do a lot of things to help develop our program,” Edwards said. “I am doing a 400-hour internship at the agency.”

Jamie Ellis Hansen, a 2003 graduate, was looking for interns from UNCP’s digital arts program. Hansen’s company, Village Court of Southern Pines, N.C., creates and sells high-end digital art.

“It’s a great opportunity to find out what you can do with an art major,” she said. “It’s a growing company, so we need help and expect to be hiring in the future.”

Don Woods, a sophomore at UNCP, was recruiting for Manna Day Reporting, an intervention program for at-risk youth.

“I’m working here full time and going to school full time,” Woods said. “I’m a social work major, so my job and studies go together.”

Jamie Hansen, a 2003 graduate, recruits a student for Village Court of Southern Pines, N.C.

Jamie Hansen, a 2003 graduate,
recruits a student for Village Court of Southern Pines, N.C.

Lori Bumgarner, assistant director for UNCP’s Office of Career Services, said interning and volunteering are a good way for students to gain experience in their career fields.

“It really helps students determine what they want to do, and it looks good on a resume,” Bumgarner said. “This is the biggest Volunteer and Internship Fair we’ve had, so there are many choices for students in this room.”

One of those choices was the Cumberland County Library. Librarian Michael Williams said he was looking for a few English majors.

“I am very much trying to lead people into this profession,” Williams said. “It’s a great career path for English or other humanities majors, and interning is a good way to get your foot in the door.”

Librarian Bobby Rochelle said it was the library’s first recruiting visit to UNCP.

“This is the first time we have participated in the fair, and we are getting some encouraging responses.”

Amanda Smith with Cumberland County Medication Access Program was looking for students interested in sciences.

“We find free medication for people without health insurance, so we’re looking for people interested in pharmacy and the sciences,” Smith said.

Others, like Mac Legerton of the Center for Community Action of Lumberton, were looking for helping hands.

“Were going to build a greenhouse at River Way in Lumberton,” Legerton said. “We’re also looking for volunteers for the Lumber River Fest on October 16.”

Already, two UNCP clubs, a sorority and the Disabled Student Organization, signed up, Legerton said.

UNCP students are performing more hours of community service – 5,000 last year - and performing more internships than ever, said Melanie Clark, who directs UNCP’s community service program. Clark said the record turnout of agencies and businesses was met with considerable student interest.

“There are a lot of students here signing up for programs of all kinds,” Clark said. “It’s very exciting for us.”

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