The Cougar Volunteer Spirit is Alive and Well in Charleston

This blog is a project by public relations students at the College of Charleston. Since its inception in 2004, the Cougar Volunteer Spirit has showcased dozens of students who give of their time, effort and hearts to helping those in need. They don't do it for recognition like this, but their stories need to be shared because of their admirable qualities of character and caring. "Be the change you want to see in the world," Mahatma Ghandi said. That's the Cougar Volunteer Spirit that roars through these pages. Click on the side photos to see the articles. See photos of the students who wrote the pieces at the end. Thanks!

Monday, March 28, 2011

SHANELL RANSOM-CofC's Bonner Leadership Program

"Everyone Needs To Feel Loved" By Katy Sinkler Shanell At The Special Olympics with a young friend

Shanell Ransom has her god brother to thank for her unique experience at the College of Charleston. Unlike many students Shanell spends a majority of her time volunteering when she is not in the classroom, so much time that she is the Student Director for Civic Engagements at C ofC for the Bonner Leadership Program. When she is not busy creating events for students on campus you can find her doing a little volunteering herself. Shanell currently volunteers with Therapeutic Recreation for Mental Disabilities a few times a week. Shanell developed a passion for helping those with mental disabilities when she was younger, she would help out with her god brother who could not speak, and it was then she realized she felt bothered when they would go out in public and people would stare or treat him differently so she decided she was going to help make the change. Shanell feels that everyone needs help, should be treated equally and deserves to feel loved and that is what she does. Shanell helps with people who have mental disabilities and wants them to know they are no different from you or me. It is important for her to know that everyone feels loved. Shanell currently works with people anywhere from elementary age up to 60 years old. Shanell spends one-on-one time helping them with sports, games, activities, reading, writing, etc.

About Shanell Ransom………
Hometown: Columbia, S.C.Major: Sociology
Expected Year to Graduate: May 2013

Current Volunteer Activities: Therapeutic Recreation, Alternative Spring Break, Summer Service Eco-Tourism, Bonner Leadership Program. Past Volunteer Activities: International Service Program, Nursing Homes, Food Banks, Alternative Spring Breaks.

What is your most memorable volunteering experience? Last summer when I was a swim coach and there was a guy, who had to walk with a cane and had very limited arm use, we were trying to get him to use his arms and every day we he would try but not much would happen. By the end of the summer watching him is able to extend his entire arm even though it caused him pain, and swim in the pool was very memorable. I felt I was able to reach him he accomplished something and show great appreciation for our help.

What are you most proud of contributing to your organization? Being able to serve others, I would rather be the person who makes someone smile, but have a smile on my face at the same time. I am proud that I am contributing to make the world a better place. How do you think your friends and family would describe you? Bubbly caring soul, always smiling and extremely happy but mindful of my surroundings. Always willing to serve when needed and least expected.

What would you tell someone who is thinking of volunteering? DO IT… Have an open mind and be prepared, you can do it and help make the world we live in a better place.

What are your plans after graduation? My plans are to go to Law School if I do not go to Law School right away I plan to take a year to give service.

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