Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve

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    By SHAWN DICKERSON

    BYU’s motto is “Enter to Learn, Go Forth to Serve,” and BYUSA offers to students a number of service programs and opportunities to help them follow that statement.

    Skyler Lawrence, community service vice-president for BYUSA, said that there are between 25 and 30 service programs offered through BYUSA that work with a range of different groups and causes.

    “Most of the students here understand the importance of service,” he said. “Many of them have been on missions and had a chance to do service on a weekly basis, and when they get back they want to get involved … (service) is kind of inherent in the school”

    “We have a population that is very service-minded,” Lawrence said. “We have people that give anywhere from 30 hours a week to one hour a month and almost everyone comes away with a feeling of accomplishment, having helped someone … I think people tend to feel the spirit and have a good experience.”

    One of the programs BYUSA offers to students is called ACCESS — which stands for Advocate for a Child’s Community Exposure and Socialization Success.

    Sariah May, director of personnel for the ACCESS program, said that the organization gives role models to children who don’t have them and is designed to help build the child’s self-esteem.

    Volunteers of ACCESS are put into teams consisting of a male and a female and they are asked to visit the children they are paired with at least one hour a week, but they can give more, May said.

    The program aids disabled and handicapped children and those with only one parent at home, she said. Some of the children, however, do have both parents at home, but both have to work, so the children don’t get as much attention as they would like.

    “Our motto scripture for the year is James 1:27, ‘Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world’,” May said. “(This describes the program because) a lot of the children don’t have fathers and also because pure religion is service and that’s what this program is all about.”

    In addition to the weekly visits, May said all the volunteers are asked to come with their children to monthly super-activities. This month’s activity will be at the cornfield Maize on Sept. 27.

    Parents who have children in the program enjoy it and want to continue being associated with it, she said. One woman even commented that she loves her volunteers and her children have been happier since they joined the program.

    See the accompanying info box for other service organizations associated with BYUSA.

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