“I just want to help, but I’m not sure how” 20+ ways to gain experience at BU

As a Career Consultant at the Fleishman Center, I meet so many students who say “I just want to help, but I’m not sure how.” The good news is, there are innumerable career paths that can fulfill this desire. To create a career path in service to others, think about a specific cause you would like to learn more about or address in our society. Are you interested in Women’s Empowerment? Education? Economic mobility? Climate Change? The sky’s the limit – what you choose, really comes down to identifying your own passions and interests. You don’t have to have it all figured out right now. In fact, your interests and passions may even change over time! The most important thing to do is to get engaged early, learn and be open to new experiences.  

I reviewed B-Engaged and highlighted over 20 Student Organizations and internship opportunities to get you started in your search. B-Sure to check B-Engaged for more opportunities! If you haven’t found a club that focuses on your passion, consider picking up the mantle of change and start your own club!

  • 20:1 Prevention Programs: Are you passionate about interpersonal violence prevention? “20:1 provides interpersonal violence prevention education addressing issues such as sexual assault prevention, affirmative consent, victim blaming, predatory behavior, dating violence, healthy relationships and bystander intervention.” Students can even become interns for the program and earn academic credit while gaining valuable skills and experience. View their website here  
  • Active Ally: The Active Ally Program represents a significant update to traditional Safe Zone training models. While the old Safe Zone focused on understanding LGBTQIA identities and passive support of LGBTQIA people, our Active Ally model focuses on what it means to serve LGBTQIA individuals and communities in an active capacity. This new program will eventually grow to have three Tiers that address (1) basic ally development, (2) systemic oppression and LGBTQIA communities, and (3) sustainable change. The program is open to students and employees, straight cisgender allies and LGBTQIA people. 
  • American Red Cross: “The American Red Cross Club is a service group that helps the Red Cross fulfill its humanitarian mission of preparing for, preventing and responding to emergencies. Working closely with our local chapter, club members participate in Red Cross service projects that help their schools, their communities and the world.”
  • Best Buddies:Best Buddies is an international non-profit organization that aims to promote inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) through the three program pillars of one-to-one friendships, integrated employment, and leadership development. As a college chapter, the Binghamton University chapter will establish lasting one-to-one friendships between individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and undergraduate students enrolled in Binghamton University. 
  • Binghamton Buddies: Binghamton Buddies as a club is designed to connect Binghamton University students with BOCES students. BOCES consists of a set of alternative education programs for students K through 12 who have been removed from mainstream public schools for behavioral, social and academic issues. 
  • Binghamton International Volunteers:We, Binghamton International Volunteers, will reach out to students on campus about international health and increase awareness through education. Students will have an impact on global health and indirectly improve life in under resourced regions of the world by various means such as awareness, funding, and advocacy. 
  • Binghamton Students for Autism Acceptance: The purpose of Binghamton Students for Autism Acceptance is to further the mission of Autism Speaks by engaging the campus community and the local community through awareness, education and fundraising and in so doing, positively affect the lives of those struggling with autism spectrum disorders and their families. The chapter will raise autism awareness by hosting awareness, advocacy and fundraising events. Members will have the opportunity to gain volunteer hours and valuable experience in a number of fields including event planning, graphic design, marketing, fundraising, accounting, branding, as well as leadership skills. Services provided will include guest speaks, information sessions, student-student connections, fundraisers, and creative awareness events. As a result of these services we hope to create a community of Binghamton students that will be proud of their dedication and determination to change the lives of those affected by autism
  • Circle K: Circle K International develops college and university students into a global network of responsible citizens and leaders with a lifelong commitment to service. Additionally, our mission is to be a global community-service organization on campus that aims to not only better the surrounding community outside and inside campus, but also create a strong sense of friendship that can be achieved while participating in any community service event. Circle K International wants to enrich the world one member, one child and one community at a time while fostering fellowship and inspiring many along the way to follow in the same path.
  • Diverse Cultural Xcellence: This group is dedicated to educating those who wish to truly diversify themselves through the unbiased, open, and honest discussion of other races, their traditions, and or beliefs. This group is truly meant to focus on unity among all; no matter their race, creed, or gender. By bringing everyone together through various workshops and group meetings, the members will learn tolerance and also how to be a part of a group. By promoting leadership skills and community service, we strive to eliminate discrimination placed on our peers in our quest for unity.
  • Enactus: Enactus is a global, nonprofit organization that gives students around the world the opportunity and tools to practice philanthropic entrepreneurship in real working situations.
  • Engineers Without Borders: This organization is a university chapter of Engineers Without Borders-USA that provides engineering solutions to socio-economically disadvantaged communities both local and worldwide. While utilizing engineering professionals as guides, students will create and implement technological systems that will improve the quality of life in these communities.
  • Habitat For Humanity: We exist to provide students with experiential service learning activities that engage them with the community in which they live. We strive to educate students on the issues of poverty housing and homelessness domestically and internationally. We raise funds to support our own student chapter’s well-being as well as to provide yearly donations to our affiliate organization Broome County Habitat for Humanity.
  • International Connection: The primary purpose of the club is to foster intercultural interaction among the students at Binghamton University. The students can step into a new comfort zone when meeting other international or American students and the experience will help enlighten them to learn more about different lifestyles, customs and cultures. As this club is a social club, students can make new friends and have fun with different types of activities, games, discussions and events while becoming more aware of other cultures.
  • Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (JUMP Nation): The Juvenile Urban Multicultural Program (J.U.M.P. Nation), is a student-run, non-profit organization comprised of volunteers attending the State University of New York at Binghamton. With a mission to decrease the high school drop out rate through mentoring, while increasing student enrollment into institutions of higher education, J.U.M.P. Nation helps supply at-risk middle school students with the necessary tools to help them overcome socio-economic issues and gives Binghamton University student the rare opportunity to help support and guide the academic success and personal vision of youth. The founders of J.U.M.P. Nation believed that the most effective way to help combat problems such as the combination of social, political, and economic factors that might prevent or deter students from reaching their educational goals and receiving the type of quality education they deserve, was to motivate students to pursue higher education at an early age. Thus, to achieve the goals set forth by our mission statement, J.U.M.P. Nation selects approximately 100 students, called protégés, to participate in a four day, all-expense-paid weekend program at Binghamton University. Protégés are paired with Binghamton University students with the hopeful intention of promoting higher education as a viable objective and the hopeful intention of providing them with influential individuals who encourage the fulfillment of their goals. As a network of support that helps them overcome obstacles throughout their high school careers, while simultaneously introducing them to an environment of higher education, Binghamton University students are presented with the rare and rewarding opportunity to make a positive difference in the life of underprivileged youth who have been neglected, unrecognized, and ignored.
  • March of Dimes: The objective of the March of Dimes at Binghamton is to support the mission for improving the health of all babies by preventing birth defects, infant mortality, and premature birth.
  • Mental Health Outreach Peer Educators (MHOPE): Through outreach and advocacy, M-HOPE Interns are dedicated to make Binghamton University a healthier and safer living and learning environment by: Educating the Binghamton campus community on mental health and wellness; Connecting the Binghamton campus community with university and off-campus resources; Actively working to reduce stigma about mental health issues through formal and informal education and dialogue with the Binghamton campus community.
  • NAACP Binghamton University: The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness: The mission of NAMI on campus at Binghamton shall be to administer support, educate students, and advocate for mental health and public policy in order to discontinue the negative stigma mental illness has, as well as limited knowledge surrounding public policy relating to mental illness.
  • One Special World: One Special World is a national organization aimed at uniting the special needs and mainstream populations. A diverse college campus has many individuals who have special needs including developmental disabilities, physical handicaps, mental health issues, social anxieties, among others. It is paramount that our student body is united and accepting of all. One Special World will bridge the gap between these two populations through peer education, volunteer service, and fundraisers. One Special World is a national organization aimed at uniting the special needs and mainstream populations. A diverse college campus has many individuals who have special needs including developmental disabilities, physical handicaps, mental health issues, social anxieties, among others. It is paramount that our student body is united and accepting of all. One Special World will bridge the gap between these two populations through peer education, volunteer service, and fundraisers. One Special World’s current fundraising goal is to build One Special World, a group home for individuals with special needs.
  • Paws and Effect: Our mission is to help local shelter animals and ease the burden of local animal shelter workers. We also aim to increase awareness of shelter animal welfare issues.
  • Poverty Awareness Coalition: We seek to restore the basic rights of health and stability to our local Binghamton community and across the globe.
  • SEEK: Our mission statement is to serve as a safe and effective source of information and assistance to the students of Binghamton University through the operation of a helpline.
  • SHADES: SHADES is an organization created for LGBTQIAP+ students of color on campus. We come together to create a safer atmosphere on campus through activism, education, and social events. We have meetings every week to engage in discussions on intersectionality and the unique issues that we face as LGBTQIAP+ students of color as well as fun bonding activities to foster inclusion and community on campus. We seek to educate others about issues and current events within these communities and hope to create a safe space for all.

 

By Jessica Lane-Rwabukwisi
Jessica Lane-Rwabukwisi Career Consultant Jessica Lane-Rwabukwisi