Volunteer Spotlight: Theresa Alarcon

Jan. 28, 2019

By Mary Anna Sedlacek

Emerging Leaders Program students serve snacks at a Halloween-themed Community Cafe for the North of Main Street community in Binghamton.Theresa Alarcon is a freshman School of Management student who has already gotten involved both on campus and in the local community. A member of the Society for Human Resource Management, Women in Business and Evolution Dance Company, she has enjoyed exploring her interests in business and trying new things early on in her time at Binghamton University.

In addition to being a member of these student organizations, Alarcon was also involved in the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) last semester. The ELP is a one-semester program designed to aid freshmen and transfer students in the development of effective leadership skills. Throughout the program, students participate in various leadership skills workshops, such as public speaking, group dynamics and program planning. There are six different groups or "knowledge communities" students can be a part of based on their interests. Alarcon was a member of the sports, recreation and wellness knowledge community.

Another aspect of the ELP program involves using the leadership skills learned to plan and carry out a service-learning project. Together Alarcon and her fellow knowledge community members planned and put on a Halloween event last October for the North of Main Street community in Binghamton.

For help getting started, Alarcon went to the Center for Civic Engagement. Emily Motti, the graduate assistant overseeing the impactBING CORE volunteer program, gave her some ideas and introduced her to a community partner who runs the Walnut Street Community Cafes, an after-school program that promotes health- and wellness-related activities among other things. From there, Alarcon and her knowledge community thought of and designed their Halloween event.

According to Alarcon, the event was very successful, as they had a great turnout and everyone who attended had a fun time. Motti describes the event as "ground-breaking." Alarcon's group planned it with children in mind and devised interactive stations to go along with their sports, recreation and wellness theme. The stations involved fun and educational activities about mental health, hygiene, healthy eating, sports and games, and the adults enjoyed themselves just as much as the kids.

Alarcon says her experience planning this event for a disadvantaged area of the community and being a part of the ELP in general has been very rewarding. "It was just a great response from the people [involved, and it] was nice that we could see that we really made a difference." She plans to continue her involvement with the ELP by applying to be a student mentor for the program.

Get Involved with impactBING CORE

Fill out our general interest form to begin your community involvement!

Check out some of the current impactBING CORE opportunities in the Service Listings.

Apply to be an Emerging Leaders Program mentor

Applications are now being accepted for undergraduate peer mentors (ELP Mentors) to work with new students through the 2019 Binghamton University Emerging Leaders Program (ELP).

ELP Mentors are enrolled in a 2-credit hour practicum, which includes a weekly 1.5 hour seminar class that meets on Fridays from 3:30-5 p.m. through the fall semester. The expected time commitment for the ELP Mentor position is approximately 6 hours per week. Additional information about the ELP Mentor program, and applications are available online through the ELP website and B-Engaged.

Photos: Banner - ELP students planned and hosted a Halloween-themed Community Cafe for the North of Main Street community in Binghamton. Right - ELP students serve snacks at the event.