UCAN is a student-run community service network that was founded by two BDIC students, Kurt Schultz, concentration: Cognitive Neuroscience and Sam Mardell, concentration: Science, Technology, and Society. It connects UMass students to volunteer opportunities in the Amherst public schools. There are no required classes, no weekly meetings, and students volunteer on a consistent basis. Students are matched with opportunities based on their schedule and their interests. By streamlining the process of becoming a volunteer, the network makes it easy for students who want to give back to the community. Interested students should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get started.
UCAN volunteers help out in all sorts of ways, from helping students with homework and test prep to playing basketball with the younger children. In addition to their work in the schools, UCAN also helps with special events in the Amherst community and conducts a yearly school supply drive for students from low-income families. Annual events include Halloweenfest, Winterfest, Amherst Block Party, Sustainability Fest, and Spring Sprint.
UCAN is celebrating its third year as an established group on campus. UCAN has recruited more than 100 UMass students, and over 85 volunteer on a weekly basis in the Amherst public school district. UCAN contributes over 175 hours in the classrooms, the playgrounds, and the cafeterias every week. Just recently, the Commonwealth Honors College chose UCAN as the honors college’s community service network for the 2012-2013 school year.
Like “UCAN Volunteer” on Facebook and follow them on Twitter for more information and to stay in the loop.