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

PAUL BRADLEY, JR. - Upward Bound/Bonner Leadership Representative

Someone to Learn From
By Kalen Nolte
Bradley (second from right) with fellow Bonner Leaders working at a clothes drive in New Orleans to spread awareness about HIV.

Paul Bradley is no stranger to time management. Not only does he find time to actively volunteer with the Upward Bound Tutoring Program, he is also a Bonner Leadership Representative, a residence assistant for George Street Apartments and a student ambassador for the College.

Oh, and he's only a sophomore taking a full courseload toward his political science degree.

Paul, a graduate of Cross High School in Berkeley County, says volunteering is a big part of his life. He donates several hours a week to Upward Bound by coordinating tutoring for high school students and finding and training college students who want to tutor. He also dedicates many of his holiday breaks and weekends to service trips for the Bonner Leadership Program.

Paul's enthusiasm for helping others is undeniable and his outgoing nature has made him popular on campus. He always greets everyone with a smile and a "hey!" and he is definitely someone to learn from.


Hometown: Cross, S.C.
Political Science with a minor in African-American studies
Graduation Date:
May 2013

What volunteer activities have you been involved in?

I have been a part of the Upward Bound organization for two years and the Bonner Leaders for one year. I am also a student ambassador for the College of Charleston so I go and visit high schools to talk about CofC and get the students interested in coming here. Recently, I went back to my old high school and spoke about preparing for college. Also, I went on a service trip with Bonner over winter break to New Orleans where we learned about how to raise awareness for HIV. I most recently went on another trip with Bonner over Spring Break to San Francisco.

Tell me more about what you do for Upward Bound and Bonner.

For Upward Bound, I am a student coordinator which means that once the Upward Bound staff sees the grades of local high school students, they determine if they need tutoring and I find college students willing to tutor the kids in their core subjects. I also coordinate the tutoring staff and assist the academic coordinator by making an hour-long Power Point presentation every Saturday to high school students who are going to be tutored. I coordinate the orientation for the college students who decide to tutor and I tell them what Upward Bound expects of them and what the proper way to tutor is. For Bonner Leaders, I am a student ambassador. I am asked to volunteer in hosting a high school student, typically on Friday nights during fall and spring semesters, to show them around campus and answer any questions they might have about the College to help them narrow their decision to come here. Most of the service trips I go on are with Bonner also.

What do you most enjoy about community service?

I would have to say the thrill you get from it personally and the lessons that you learn. You also leave a mark in some people's lives that might not have been there unless you came along and helped them.

What is your most memorable volunteer experience?

At the San Francisco trip over Spring Break I stepped out of my comfort zone. I did gardening and I really don't like the outdoors. I had to weed, shovel manure, do compost and a lot of other stuff that I didn't want to do at first but in the end it was a great experience and it will always stick in my mind.

What are you most proud of contributing through volunteering?
As a student coordinator for Upward Bound, I can touch someone's life and am helping someone that is just like me because Upward Bound is catering to first-generation, low-income high school students. I was part of the program through Trident Tech when I was in high school and to give back to them now and know that the people that I help appreciate me is the best thing that I get. I am helping people in the same way that I was helped to get to where I am.

How have you personally benefited from volunteering?

Because I have been so active in Upward Bound during the school year, I have been offered a summer job there for the past two summers which has been great.

What would you tell someone who is interested in volunteering?
I would tell them to try to get into the Bonner Leaders if they are really, really driven about service. If they can't get into Bonner, stop by the civic engagement service office and they can help you find somewhere to volunteer. Also, you can do your own research and find something that the office might not know about and that you may never have realized had a need.

How do your friends and family describe you?

They would say I'm outspoken, real, confident, determined, ambitious, caring, helpful, honest, bubbly and photogenic.

What are your plan after graduation?

I plan to go to law school and get certified to practice corporate and family law. I don't think I want to go to Charleston Law School, though. I will have been in Charleston for four years going here. I want to move on to the next experience and go somewhere new.

Where can students who might be interested in volunteering for Upward Bound or becoming a Bonner Leader find more information?

For Upward Bound, you can visit their site to get more information about what we do and for Bonner Leaders you can go to the second floor of the Lightsey Center and speak to Tricia Smars or Stephanie Visser.

No comments:

Post a Comment