Even when classes are not in session, there is no doubt that Bruins still embody UCLA’s True Bruin Values. The UCLA Volunteer Center is honored to highlight a number of Bruins who truly understand the value of service and the importance of promoting global change through volunteering. The passion, leadership, and drive in all the UCLA students and alumni who performed service this summer is truly inspirational. Read their stories, learn about their missions, and get involved with their organizations. To view the entire Summer of Service archive, visit http://volunteer.ucla.edu/summer-of-service.
Los Angeles, CA
Recent UCLA alumnus Aaron Delgadillo was so inspired by his experiences with UniCamp as an undergrad that he embarked on a 26-mile backpacking trip with underserved youth from Greater Los Angeles.
“We jumped and laughed and forgot all about the soreness and smelliness of our bodies . It was a couple of moments of just sheer pride and joy and it’s a moment that I’ll never forget.” – Aaron Delgadillo
Immigrating from the Philippines as a child, fourth-year UCLA student Jasmine Santos saw it as her own moral obligation to give back to the people of the Philippines by providing quality medical care and treatment through Pilipinos for Community Health.
“Santos expresses her appreciation for the relationships she formed with others. She finds the memorable conversations with patients during recovery and with doctors and nurses during lunch breaks the most impactful. She not only gained valuable insights but also built a lasting bond of unity between two communities across the globe.”
Los Angeles, CA
Pursing his Master of Architecture at UCLA, Josh Nelson hopes to use his knowledge and skills to empower communities and individuals to create change by volunteering his time at the Southern California Library.
“It may not be apparent at first, but I have found that being open to what opportunities may come your way, and acknowledging that it is ok to feel uncomfortable is a good place to start.” – Joshua Nelson
Los Angeles, CA
Motivated by giving back and bettering the broader community, third-year student Jordan Vega spent his summer collaborating with local business in hopes of gaining support for Bruin Shelter, a student-run shelter for students experiencing housing insecurity in Greater Los Angeles.
“The most pleasant surprise for me is seeing how many businesses and individuals care so much about youth homelessness as to want to donate proceeds and support Bruin Shelter. It’s so heartwarming and immensely humbling.” – Jordan Vega
Second-year student Michelle Vu’s calling to help others who are underserved, led her to Beijing, where she spent time caring for orphaned and abandoned children at Chunhui China Care Home.
“My biggest takeaway from my experience at the Chunhui China Care Home is that love is love, no matter the barriers in geography, culture, or language. I want to take what I learned in Beijing to continue to provide care to children who need it most.” – Michelle Vu
In addition to learning in the classroom through UCLA Hawai’i Travel Study , fourth-year student Natalie Bagaporo gained a new appreciation of agriculture through service projects on sacred Hawaiian cultural sites.
“One memory she recalls is the dinner following a service day where local kids immediately requested Bagaporo’s contact information and asked to make plans to reunite. She was immediately taken aback and surprised by how these young children who just met her were so ready and willing to immediately embrace a lasting relationship.”
Fourth-year student Rene Phan’s past experience visiting Guatemala and India as a volunteer prompted her to lead her own volunteer medical mission trip to Peru, where she solidified her passion to become a physician.
“I feel the obligation to give back, but also truly enjoy doing so. Meeting people with lives so different than mine inspires me to continue giving back to the community in any way possible.” – Rene Phan
Los Angeles, CA
Approaching his 8th year of involvement with Best Buddies, fourth-year student and UCLA Volunteer Center Events Assistant Shammir Khan attended an international conference in Indiana to learn about ways to further increase respect and inclusion for people with disabilities.
“Attending the 29th annual Best Buddies Leadership Conference honestly reminded me that there are thousands of people around the world with the same hopes and dreams about how they want to shape the world; We are not alone in the work that we do, so it’s important that we stay dedicated, engaged, and educated.” – Shammir Khan