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Leading Through Volunteerism at Ivy Tech-Columbus

Volunteering plays a crucial role in fostering community development and personal growth. The Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus NSLS chapter truly puts the 'community' in community college.

Celebrating the High-Achieving NSLS Chapter at Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus

Among the numerous organizations that promote volunteerism, the National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) stands out for its commitment to creating leaders who make a difference. 

The NSLS at Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus has demonstrated exceptional dedication to community service, setting a high standard for NSLS chapters nationwide. Through various volunteer events, this chapter has significantly contributed to the well-being of their community, illustrating the powerful impact of the NSLS at community colleges.

As Student President Amani Stewart shared, "I believe the impact we made was positive and genuine. We all felt we did something great that our community needs. Our message was to let them know that they do have people standing with them who are willing to help as much as possible."

Supporting Foster Children with Beloved

One of the most notable projects the Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus NSLS chapter undertook was their collaboration with Beloved. This non-profit organization supports foster children and parents in need. Beloved focuses on building equity within the community, particularly among black, bi-racial, and LGBTQ+ populations. The organization's efforts are volunteer-based, with brand-new items purchased for infants, children, and teens.

Chapter members worked closely with Amy Linnemann, the executive director of Beloved, to support this mission. They engaged in various activities, including collecting and distributing essential supplies for foster families. This project provided much-needed resources to foster children and parents and raised awareness about the importance of equity and support within these communities.

Addressing Overdose Prevention with Overdose Lifeline

In another impactful initiative, the NSLS at Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus partnered with Overdose Lifeline, a non-profit organization that educates the public on overdose prevention and the proper administration of Narcan. The organization's mission is critical, especially given the ongoing opioid crisis affecting communities nationwide.

The NSLS members played a vital role in this effort by assembling small plastic bags containing overdose prevention information and community resources. These bags were then returned to Overdose Lifeline, where additional volunteers added Naloxone to each bag. Naloxone is a medication used to rapidly reverse the effects of opioid overdose. 

The completed kits were distributed across all 92 counties in Indiana, reaching thousands of individuals each month. This project helped save lives and educated the public on responding to overdose situations, demonstrating the profound impact of community college volunteering.

RELATED: Volunteering helps make THE WORLD BETTER, but did you know it can also boost your career?

Fundraising for the Future

The Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus NSLS chapter organized several successful fundraising events to sustain its community service efforts and support future projects. One such event was a dine-to-donate fundraiser in collaboration with Panda Express. This initiative allowed community members to contribute to the chapter's funds simply by ordering food from Panda Express, with 20% of each order supporting the chapter's activities.

In addition to the Panda Express fundraiser, the chapter hosted a baked potato bar fundraiser on Tuesday, April 30. The event featured a variety of baked potato toppings, drinks, and chocolate bars, all generously donated by a local small business called Fresh Take. The fundraiser aimed to raise additional funds to support the chapter's ongoing and future initiatives, highlighting the community's collective effort to support their goals.

According to Stewart, teamwork was at the center of the chapter's success.

"The main reason why my experience (at the NSLS) was great is due to my team. They all worked hard and did their part in making these events happen. If I didn't have such a great and dedicated team, we probably wouldn't have achieved so much as a chapter."

A Community-First Community College

The achievements of the Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus NSLS chapter underscore the significant impact of community college volunteering. Their dedication to supporting foster children, addressing overdose prevention, and raising funds for future projects exemplifies the potential of NSLS chapters at community colleges to drive positive change and enhance community well-being.

The work of the NSLS chapter at Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus is an inspiring example for other chapters. Their volunteer efforts have demonstrated that community college students are committed to supporting local causes. The chapter’s partnerships with organizations like Beloved and Overdose Lifeline and their successful fundraising initiatives showcase the power of collective action and the importance of giving back to the community.

We're thrilled to highlight the NSLS chapter at Ivy Tech Community College-Columbus, celebrate its achievements, and encourage others to follow in the footsteps of servant leadership.

Stewart shared a quote she loves to live by that reminds her why she became a leader: "If serving others is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you."

Many NSLS chapters are choosing to make a better world through a strong commitment to serving the local community. Read about another chapter that set an audacious goal for its members and transformed itself in the process.