First Look: Community Service

Global UGRAD students are required to complete at least 20 hours of community service while they are in the United States. Admirably, many students have already starting volunteering in their local host community. Read below about the volunteering experiences written by current 2018-19 Global UGRAD students:

Oudom Von from Cambodia at the University of Missouri-St. Louis

Oudom volunteering at a rooftop garden

“I have always been continuously involved with volunteering activities since I arrived in St. Louis. I have joined a lot of volunteering jobs organized by my campus as well as leaders in the St. Louis community. But one of my favorite activities was the roof top gardening at one of the most popular organizations known as Urban Farm, which focuses on organic plants in downtown St. Louis. A group of international students and I took the metro very early in the morning to the farming place a few weeks ago to volunteer. We all were assigned to do some pretty simple tasks such as gathering fallen leaves, picking fruits and vegetables, feeding the chickens up there on the roof, which was pretty fun, and last but not least, watering the small plants in the green house. After finishing those tasks, we weighed all the plants and fruits that we collected and distributed them to the elderly in the community. It was such an amazing experience for me and the other international students to raise awareness about maintaining healthy food and to help those in need in the U.S. All of the experiences that I have learned during these few month were very worth it and I really can’t wait to see what will happen more in the upcoming months before I return back to Cambodia.”


Reem (far right) packing Cat Packs

Reem Elhakeem from Egypt at Northern Michigan University

“The Cat Packs program aims to supply food over weekends and holidays each academic school year to North Star Academy students facing food insecurity. The program plays a key role in ending childhood hunger in Marquette County. Each week, Cat Packs supplies 70 students from North Star Academy with food for the weekend. Students receiving the packs utilize the school’s free or reduced lunch program. For my volunteering, I put different kinds of food like beef sticks, bananas, and snacks in bags and then put all the bags in big boxes to be transferred to elementary schools. What I loved most about my experience was the good spirit I felt while I was working. I imagine how happy the kids will be when they receive these packs. ”