UTEP Serves Community at Annual Project MOVE
More than 400 volunteers helped at 20 job sites across the region
EL PASO, Texas (Apr. 15, 2023) – More than 400 volunteers associated with The University of Texas at El Paso helped at about 20 job sites throughout the El Paso region today during UTEP’s annual Project MOVE (Miner Opportunities for Volunteer Experiences).
Ofelia Dominguez, co-lead Project MOVE organizer and director of UTEP’s Union Services, said the initiative is a continuation of the University’s longstanding tradition of fostering well-being in the community that surrounds it.
“UTEP leaders created this event so students, faculty, staff and alumni could give back to the community, which has given so much to the University,” Dominguez said. “It also provides an excellent opportunity for volunteers to learn more about the community and its residents.”
This year’s volunteers, a combination of University students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends, sorted, painted, cleaned, landscaped, refurbished and did numerous other jobs requested by nonprofit community partners.
Jennifer Lujan, Project MOVE co-lead organizer and director of UTEP’s Center for Community Engagement, said participation in the day of service is always an enriching experience.
“Our volunteers learn firsthand the needs of the community, the importance of leading through service, and the value of civic engagement,” Lujan said.
Ayleen Palma, a junior clinical laboratory science major, spent several hours on Saturday sorting and packing food at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Food Bank in far east El Paso. Though she has had several community service experiences in the past, this was her first time as a Project MOVE volunteer.
“I really like the thought of doing work that helps others,” Palma said. “I feel proud, and hopefully I’ll get to do this again next year.”
Since Project MOVE’s start in 2010, Miner volunteers have landscaped gardens, painted skate parks, fixed bicycles, organized food pantries, cleaned offices and arroyos, repaired homes and playground equipment, and built bed frames and websites. They also have made blankets for children and homes accessible for people with disabilities, spruced up a cemetery, repaired nature trails, taught golf and soccer, visited hospital patients, translated for medical students and collected canned and nonperishable food for the needy. The University estimated the total value of the work at $1.2 million.
About The University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at El Paso is America’s leading Hispanic-serving university. Located at the westernmost tip of Texas, where three states and two countries converge along the Rio Grande, 84% of our 24,000 students are Hispanic, and half are the first in their families to go to college. UTEP offers 169 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs at the only open-access, top-tier research university in America.
Last Updated on April 17, 2023 at 12:00 AM | Originally published April 17, 2023
By MC Staff UTEP Marketing and Communications