Volunteer Spotlight: Djenane Jean
Next semester, CCARNY will be regularly posting student profiles of Pace students who have been actively engaged in their community. Djenane is the second Pace student to be interviewed and recognized for her service. If you are a Pace student, and think you or someone you know deserves a shout out for their dedication to service, activism, and civic engagement, please email our office at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Major: Communication Studies Hello everyone!
Minor: Marketing and Arts & Entertainment Management
Jobs: Paces Human Resources Office and Usher at Schimmel Theater
How did you first get involved with community service at Pace University?
I first got involved with community service here at Pace with the ASPIRE Program, basically serving as a guide, sharing my experiences, and giving general information abut the university during open house. I love interacting with the perspective students and their families visiting Pace for the first time and I try to do this every semester. I was additionally looking to volunteer on a more consistent basis and found that working with CCAR was great prospect. It gave me the opportunity to volunteer with an optimistic group and fellow classmates!
What kinds of volunteer experiences have you had here, and what organizations have you worked with?
I am volunteering with the non-profit organization, New York Common Pantry. In my experience I have come to a better understanding of the issue surrounding hunger in the U.S, specifically New York City. I have learned how the city is in desperate need and what the services of NYCP do for so many families, providing them with food and grocery packages. It has always been a goal of mine to volunteer in a food pantry and I am so happy to have had the opportunity to do so. Working with NYCP there are so many ways to help out. Whether it’s bagging produce, taking orders using the tablet system, filling orders or interacting with the people there is always a something for you. The staff is super friendly and helpful and it’s always great interacting with the other volunteers and hearing their backgrounds.
How have you been involved with the CCAR?
I used the resources provided by CCAR to find my community partner for my Area of Knowledge course, Leadership and Advocacy. A bunch of us volunteered at the pantry about at the end of September and a month later I realized I could use this organization as my community partner for my class. So I decided to contact the volunteer coordinator, Jen Winter, and I have been going ever since.
What inspires you to be civically engaged?
I’ve always been a relatively civically engaged person, its just second nature to me! My friends often call me the queen of volunteer work. Going from a Therapeutic Horse-riding program, a rehabilitation center, Fall festival ticket seller/Parking attendant, I’ve dabbled in many of fields. I would say a sense of community definitely motivates me to be active.
Why do you think it’s important for students to become civically engaged?
Community work builds for overall empowerment within yourself, and society, As citizens, as students, or just as people it is our duty to help those who don’t have the same opportunity that we have. It is important to help the community, as it leads to a better and brighter tomorrow. I hope in the future college students become more civically engaged, I most definitely plan to!