Eastern Kentucky PRIDE

Personal Responsibility in a Desirable Environment

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Union College students are region’s top volunteers

Photo by Union College. Dr. Marcia Hawkins, President; Emily Harless, Bradley Lewis, Becky Calhoun (PRIDE), Logan Smith, Cathy Lenox (PRIDE), Taylor Logan, Jodi Carroll, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement.

Dr. Marcia Hawkins (Union College President), Emily Harless, Bradley Lewis, Becky Calhoun (PRIDE), Logan Smith, Cathy Lenox (PRIDE), Taylor Logan, Jodi Carroll (Union College Director of the Center for Civic Engagement). Photo by Union College.

The Union College freshman class earned the PRIDE Volunteer of the Month Award for participating in Service Day — one-day service “blitz” in their new community.

On Aug. 22, groups of 20 to 25 students performed community service at 13 locations in the region, including Clearfork Community Institute, Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter, Lend-A-Hand Center, Goodwill Industries, Redbird Mission, Henderson Settlement and Pine Mountain State Park. A total of 230 students participated.

“On behalf of PRIDE, I want to commend every student who chose to volunteer during Service Day and to thank you for your hard work,” said PRIDE’s Becky Calhoun, who presented the award on Oct. 7, 2015.

“Since PRIDE’s mission is to improve the environment, we especially want to recognize the 40 or so students who picked up trash at Cumberland Falls and helped at the Barbourville Recycling Center,” Calhoun explained.

At the falls, the student volunteers pulled trash from the shoreline below the observation decks. They collected three pickup-truck loads of trash.

At the recycling center, student volunteers spent eight hours helping with all aspects of processing the materials, from sorting to bailing. Mayor David Thompson worked alongside them.

“Union College has always enjoyed good relationships with the City of Barbourville and the state park,” said Andrew Powell, who is Director of Strategic Communications at Union College. He nominated the freshman class for the PRIDE award.

“The college and city partner on recycling throughout the year, so it was good for students to see what happens to the recyclables when they arrive at the center,” Powell said. “Union students often go out to Cumberland Falls to have fun, of course, but they also do many service projects there, such as trail maintenance.”

“Community service is part of Union’s mission, but this was the first time a Service Day was planned to engage all incoming freshmen in outreach projects,” Powell explained.

The Service Day was part of the Union College Experience — a week-long program of activities geared at engaging college freshmen into various aspects of campus life. Students arrived on campus one week earlier than upperclassmen and participate in campus tours, classroom prep, student support services and spend time learning about each other through a number of social experiences. Union College’s new Center for Civic Engagement sponsored Service Day and will provide regular opportunities throughout the year for students to serve the community.

To learn more about Union’s mission to support community service and outreach, please visit www.unionky.edu/service.

The PRIDE Volunteer of the Month program recognizes hard work and dedication to the PRIDE initiative, which promotes environmental education and cleanup efforts across 42 counties. Congressman Hal Rogers co-founded PRIDE in 1997 with the late General James E. Bickford, who was the Kentucky Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

“October is Roadside PRIDE Month, and I encourage volunteers to pick up litter near their homes, churches and businesses,” Calhoun added. “As visitors drive here to see our gorgeous fall scenery, it is a great time to make our roads look their best.”

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