Popping Bubbles

College life sometimes overshadows what is more important: helping others.

College life sometimes overshadows what is more important: helping others.

From reports on locals opposing university development projects to students’ neighbors’ thoughts on late-night noise levels, The Temple News has been thick with community voice as of late.

Locals’ opinions of the university’s influence on the area have always affected where Temple succeeds and where it sometimes falls short, but it is important to remember how effective an individual can be.

Project SHINE [see Bianca Brown’s article on page 1] began in 1985 when Nancy Henkin, the founder and director of Temple’s Intergenerational Center, noticed how isolated some immigrants felt in their new environments, where it seemed no one spoke their language.

Serving as a liaison between college students and the immigrant community, Henkin paired educated students with those who needed help navigating through their unfamiliar surroundings.

The program continues today, and as young adults, we should all open ourselves up to such opportunities.

As we learn from intellectual professors, it is important to remember we would be unable to understand the abstract or complicated without the basics. We have been given the tools to advance academically, and it is our responsibility to guide others when we can, even if it seems our time is limited. Let’s not forget those we help may teach us something worthwhile as well.

Temple’s department of Communication and Social Policy offers the Get SMART (Student Mentors and Reading Teachers) program, which assigns students to after-school programs throughout the city. As a tutoring program, students are able make use of their knowledge by helping elementary-, middle school- and high school-aged students understand basic curriculum.

Certain sites have also expanded to create anti-violence programs.

The university’s Office of Community Relations, located on the second floor of 1509 Cecil B. Moore Avenue, provides a list of more than 100 places throughout the city where students can volunteer in its volunteers’ guide or on its Web site, www.temple.edu/community_service/.

Too often college isolates us from the rest of the world. We get caught up in so much, forgetting there is life beyond the bubble and people outside of it as well. From crisis prevention to youth and senior citizens, everyone should be able to find a comfortable way to serve others.

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