|NCCU students volunteer during the university's MLK Day of Service|
North Carolina Central University students worked 207,437 volunteer hours assisting organizations and agencies in the Triangle during the 2013-14 academic year, a contribution worth $4.3 million to the local economy.
The university’s Academic Community Service Learning Program reports that 3,529 students volunteered their time by working with partner agencies and organizations, for on-campus events such as Book Bag and blood donation drives, or in service/learning positions approved by their professors.
“Service work is a vital part of educational experience at NCCU, and it is important to recognize how much our students’ give back to the economy of Durham and other areas,” said NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White. “The fact that our students provided more than $4 million in volunteer assistance is something we should all be proud of.”
The number of volunteer hours was up in 2013-14 from 184,427 the year before. The dollar value of the contribution is based on a calculation by The Independent Sector, a leadership network for nonprofits and foundations that estimates each hour of volunteer service in North Carolina is worth $21.04. The national average is $22.55 per hour.
NCCU was the first institution in the University of North Carolina system to require volunteer service for graduation. Undergraduates are expected to contribute 15 volunteer hours per semester. The university was recognized with an award in June for outstanding volunteer contributions to Durham Public Schools
Rising senior Suewong McFadden, who volunteers with the America Reads program in Durham classrooms, said service work brings multiple benefits.
“Community Service is one of the best things that we do at NCCU,” McFadden said. “I have been able to combine my love for children with a theater major and, through America Reads, introduce children to the joy of reading and to theatrical life in my own unique way.”