The Mercy College-Dobbs Ferry Rotaract Club has gone above and beyond their call of duty to win themselves the Volunteer Spirit Award for The Volunteer Center of United Way.
The club won in the category of “N.Y. Life Group in Action Award.” This volunteer recognition is given every April to a group of special volunteers who have done exemplary work in their community.
Rotaract brings together people ages 18-30 in universities and communities to organize exciting activities to develop leadership and professional skills while having fun. Rotaract members manage and fund their clubs independently. Rotaract members work closely with their local rotary club, and may join even after their memberships end. During the past year the students completed 15 projects representing a total of nearly 3,000 student-hours of service.
The Mercy College Rotaract has been nominated for the most community service hours in the Westchester County area. With over 3,000 hours logged to become the Student Government Associations largest club in terms of activities and members, the nonprofit organization has been a service club for students since being chartered by Rotary International in 2010.
Matt Lento, President of Mercy College Rotaract, sat down to discuss his excitement for this year’s crop of volunteers. His enthusiasm and excitement are the types of qualities great presidents are made of.
According to Lento, “We focus on leadership qualities in members along with an emphasis on teamwork. We try to keep everyone in flow with their goals, and to make a positive influence in our community while here at Mercy.”
Lento, an avid volunteer since his days as a senior in high school, makes sure he helps keep volunteers on the right track with such services as community service and fundraising. They even go as far as to mentoring, helping with homework and reading stories to young children on Reading Day at Leak & Watts in Yonkers. At a recent recreational trip to Rose Cottage at Children’s Village, students were welcomed by children to play sports and play in the snow.
Chief Student Engagement Officer Dr. William E. Martinov, Jr. says, “It’s wonderful to see the outstanding efforts by our Mercy College students being recognized. Mercy students are global in their thinking with a sincere desire to make a difference in the lives of others-community service being a common denominator.”
Over $1,500 has been raised for different charities including Relay 4 Life, the American Breast Cancer Walk, MLK Day of Service, Hurricane Sandy Relief, Toys For Tots, and Make a Wish. The beauty of a club like this is that it not only adds character to the students involved, it also contributes to the growth of young adults at Mercy.
“Since being chartered by Rotary International in 2010, I have had the unique opportunity to work with some of the most selfless students at Mercy College,” says PACT assistant Director Jasmine Dumas. “The Rotaractors truly enjoy the work that they do and never expect any recognition in return. I am honored to be their advisor and I am proud of all that they have accomplished.”
The Volunteer Center serves Westchester County and the Mid-Hudson Valley. The award will be presented at the 34th Annual Volunteer Spirit Award on April 24, 2014.
Matt lento encourages other students to volunteer and welcomes them to join the rotaract club saying, “Don’t preach the change, be the change you wish to see.”
You can follow Rotaract on Facebook, twitter, and Slideshare to catch up with their recent activities.