As Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve,” and his words could not have been more true. One way UCLA community members can be great through service this summer is by being a Volunteer Day Project Leader! Read on to learn the ways in which being a Project Leader can positively impact volunteers, new students, and the greater community.
1. Relive the Volunteer Day experience
Volunteer Day is one of the first university activities new Bruins participate in, making the event a highlight in a student’s undergraduate career. By serving as a Project Leader, alumni and continuing students have the opportunity to recreate their own Volunteer Day experience in a unique way.
2. Inspire new Bruins
Project Leaders and Task Captains demonstrate to first year students that Bruins continue to volunteer after UCLA. Because many students are introduced to service through Volunteer Day, being a great role model can leave a lasting impression.
3. Build memories with colleagues
Volunteer Day provides a great bonding opportunity for UCLA staff and faculty members. Once assigned to a site, Project Leaders may recruit their colleagues as Task Captains for their respective projects. In fact, UCLA Extension staff members had such a positive experience in 2015 that they have established Volunteer Day as an annual service tradition.
4. Grow leadership skills
Project Leaders are expected to plan and complete a Volunteer Day project, which requires taking initiative, following through, and giving clear direction to fellow volunteers. Along with Task Captains, who help manage smaller aspects of the project, Project Leaders supervise an average of 100 volunteers. The Volunteer Center provides trainings over the summer to prepare leaders for the big day.
5. Give back to the community
One of the most significant rewards of Volunteer Day is giving back to the Greater Los Angeles community and seeing the difference service can make. From building a garden to aesthetically restoring an elementary school, volunteers help transform organizations. By completing a Volunteer Day project, volunteers help check off a project task that has been on a school or organization’s wish list for many years.