LEAPS allows students to jump into a new level of service
for school, community
If you are a new student wanting to get acquainted with
some new people and the Fort Worth community, TCU LEAPS
might just be for you.
The program, which began five years ago, gives students
an opportunity to give back to the community.
TCU LEAPS consists of a one-day service event where groups
are dispersed all over town to volunteer their time and
effort. Local agencies host the event each year.
This years student director, Amanda Velasquez, feels
it is a great way to give back to the community.
People often say they are interested in community
service but dont know where to begin, she
said. LEAPS is a jumping off point for those people.
Its only one day, and youre making a
significant difference because it can serve as an inspiration
and make community service part of ones life,
This years event will take place on a Saturday in
October. Program officials like to get students involved
early in the year so that they can meet many new people,
especially if they are new to the area, Velasquez said.
Student sign-ups will start in the fall. There will be
booths set up around campus as well as mailers sent out.
Velasquez said a lot of advertising goes into LEAPS and
that is how she got involved.
I remember seeing a table set up in the Main, so
I asked about the event, thought it sounded great and
I signed up, she said.
Coordinator Robin Williamson said anyone affiliated with
TCU can join. This means students, professors, parents
and siblings can all take part. Sign-up is free and a
T-shirt is provided.
Students will meet early on the designated LEAPS day and
will then be assigned to random groups. Participants are
treated to breakfast and the groups will then go off to
perform their volunteer duties. When they return, lunch
is provided as well.
Last year nearly 700 people volunteered for the program.
When students arrive the day of the event, they are assigned
to a small group with a team leader. Velasquez and Williamson
both feel it is important that participants be assigned
to random groups because it helps people become acquainted
with each other.
LEAPS is like a five-hour Frog Camp in the sense
that you will meet new people, Velasquez said. You
have a bond with these people because you will work with
them toward the same goal: To serve and help the community.
Though students are encouraged to get to know one another,
Velasquez said the main goal is to focus on community
service because people get involved for that purpose in
the first place.
Velasquez said the sense of accomplishment that volunteers
feel afterward is wonderful and makes the day worth it.
When everyone looks at the work they perform over
the two hours, they can really see they made a difference,
TCU LEAPS was started by students for students. It is
completely student run and it aims to get people out into
the community. It also gives people the opportunity to
give back throughout the year if they so choose.
There are definitely more opportunities throughout
the year to get involved in, the volunteer process can
last more than one day, Williamson said.
Velasquez said as a member of the executive committee,
she has become very passionate about the program and loves
to see it succeed.
It is such a joy to see the thank you letters we
receive from the agencies telling us how appreciative
they are for our day of service, she said.
Williamson also believes that the program is beneficial
By getting involved, I believe it shapes who we
are, and it also fulfills our mission statement,