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!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

JESSE SNIDER- Big Brothers/Big Sisters

A Mentor to Charleston's Youth

By Meggan Clift

Jesse Snider pictured with Dustin, his little through the Big Brother/Big Sister program
While many College of Charleston students spend their Saturday mornings nursing a hangover, Jesse spends his Saturdays mentoring his "little brother" he "adopted" through the Big Brother/Big Sister program. He looks forward to hanging out with his little brother because he finds it rewarding to make a difference in this child's life. Jesse has worked with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program for the last three years. He has also been on multiple missions trips with the youth group he attended in middle school and high school. Through these mission trips he has gotten to work in Mexico, Pennsylvania, West Virgina, Florida, North Carolina, and Colorado. He considers himself honored to have worked on this missions, and to have touched so many lives through them. Along with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, Jesse is also active in CofC's Presbyterian Student Association (PSA). He enjoys being with the students involved in the organization, and their work to touch the lives of local groups here in Charleston.

About Jesse Snider...
Hometown: Goose Creek, S.C.
Major: Computer Sciences
Expected Graduation: May 2010
Volunteer Activities: In the past I've worked on many mission trips with my old youth group. We also worked with the Adopt-A-Highway program and seasonly visited a Presbyterian home in Summerville. Other projects I've worked on in the past are volunteer projects with CofC's Presbyterian Student Association (PSA). We've helped out at soup kitchens, food banks, and community homes. Currently I'm working with Big Brothers/Big Sisters where I'm mentoring a 12 year old boy named Dustin.

What do you enjoy most about community service? I enjoy helping people who are less fortunate than I am, that don't have all the comforts I'm blessed to have. It's always a great thing to see the looks on their faces after you've assisted them.

Most memorable volunteer experience? They're all memorable. I really couldn't choose a specific memory because every trip and volunteer experience is special to me for the lives I am able to touch.

What are you most proud of contributing to your organization(s)? I'm most proud of the thought that I was able to help someone in one way or another. With Dustin [his little] I've given him someone to look up to. His family tells me that he looks forward to us hanging out on the weekend and how he considers me to be like his real big brother.

How have you personally benefited from volunteering? It has taught me how blessed I am. Every time I volunteer it reminds me that there are always people that are more in need than I am.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering? I would tell them to just go for it. I won't say volunteering is for everyone, but it's always worth giving it a try. You never know what you might get out of it. You just might have an experience you'll never forget.

How do you think your friends and family would describe you? They would describe me as hardworking, and always willing to help others out. They would certainly I'm responsible. I also think they would say I stick to my commitments.

What are your plans after graduation? No more school, yay!! Seriously though, finding a job as a software developer or IT analyst. Continue to mentor Dustin as long as I have a job in Charleston, and work with PSA as an alumni.
For more information on the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program, visit
Pictured: Jesse Snider (far left) with members of CofC's PSA during a water break on a recent PSA service retreat.

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