“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others” – Mahatma Gandhi
Established in 2004, the Penn State Council of LionHearts is an affiliate student organization and is comprised of student representatives from Penn State’s most active volunteer and community service student organizations. Generally, two representatives from each group are invited to sit on the Council. The president and primary service leader of each organization are those delegates. Previous Council members are also invited to continue to serve as emeritus leaders.
The Council of LionHearts meets weekly during the academic year in the HUB-Robeson Center on the University Park campus. In the spirit of fostering a true roundtable conversation, the Council has no formal leadership structure other than one student who is elected to serve each semester as the facilitator of the discussions. Advisement and support for the Council is provided by a Student Affairs graduate assistant, staff from Student Activities and an administrator in Student Affairs.
Purpose: The purpose of the Council is to advance community service at Penn State and to create interesting and engaging opportunities for all students at Penn State to become service volunteers. The Council also works to maintain an effective leadership network for Penn State’s community service organizations. Council members share best practices about leadership, service project planning, membership recruitment, fundraising, officer transition and learn about Penn State resources that are available to support their organizations.
Mission: “We meet with each other and community leaders to share methods of best practice in order to improve our individual service organizations and better educate students in service learning.”
Vision: “We strive to promote volunteerism in order to further a culture of service on campus and in its surrounding communities that enriches both personal and academic growth.”
The State Day of Service and Service Project Collaborations: Leaders within the Council build collaborations each year to jointly create and sponsor service projects. In 2011 to the present, Council leaders cooperated to create a State Day of Service program which engaged hundreds of students in volunteer service projects in the Centre region. The event served as a significant symbol of support for the local community on a day that many other students and visitors engaged in high-risk drinking and community disruption. (See Daily Collegian article).
The Penn State Volunteer Calendar: Council leaders created the Penn State volunteer calendar to provide a tool they can use to get their own members to sign up for service projects. But the calendar also allows community not-for-profit agencies to engage Penn State student volunteers. Local agency leaders can contact Penn State’s Student Activities office to post a volunteer event on the calendar (814) 865-1051.