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Western Kentucky University

National Volunteer Week

 Student Spotlights

The National Volunteer Week committee recognizes students for their service on campus and in the community. Below are students who have made a significant impact through service.


Mckinze Vowels

Mckinze VowelsMckinze is a second year student at WKU's Honors College, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Gerontology. As a proud member of Alpha Gamma Delta sorority, she strives to be a woman of Purpose and "To contribute to the world's work in the community where I am placed because of the joy of service thereby bestowed and the talent of leadership multiplied."

From the very beginning of Mckinze's college career, she began as a service-learner and soon developed a passion for the work being done with The $100 Solution™. Since then, Mckinze has enjoyed all of the challenges and opportunities that come along with leading service-learning students. In her second year at WKU, she began working with a program called Bingocize™, which combines exercise and games of Bingo for older adults, lead by students in service-learning courses. Throughout the next year, Mckinze will be researching the effects of intergenerational service-learning on exercise science students' views on older adults.






Lauren Osbourne

Lauren OsbourneLauren Ashley Osbourne is from Bardstown Kentucky. She is currently involved with the community service sorority Omega Phi Alpha and on WKU's Relay for Life Committee. In Omega Phi Alpha, they do several service projects such as playing bingo with the residents of Bowling Green Towers (assisted-living home), collect items for mission trips to Haiti, write letters to soldiers in Afghanistan, campus clean ups, help raise money for the Special Olympics, coat drive for the salvation army and more. Lauren also took part in the Up Til Dawn event for St.Jude's and has raised $300 for this event. As a chapter, Omega Phi Alpha puts on events throughout the year to raise money for different organizations. This year they put on a Beauty and the Greek pageant which money went to the Hope Heart Institute and their biggest event was April 5th, St. Baldricks, a childhood cancer organization. Their goal is to raise $15,000 dollars and participants who are sponsored will shave/cut their hair during the event. Lauren's goal is to raise $1000 by herself and she hopes to exceed this goal. Outside of school, she also fundraises for a little girl who lives near her hometown. Her name is Miley Hodge, she is 7 years old, and was diagnosed with stage IV bone cancer. She met her shortly after hearing her story on the news and she has stolen her heart ever since. Being a childhood cancer survivor herself, Lauren has given her the determination to help other children struck by this awful disease. She has raised money for her family and medical expenses by setting up jars at restaurants, getting Prayers for Miley bracelets made, and a bake sale in her honor with the help of Omega Phi Alpha. Lauren has been trying to visit her at least once a month or as often as she can, just to spend the day with her and her family. She will continue to raise money and help Miley in any way she can, and she has become very near and dear to my heart. Lauren loves to help people and I will continue to reach out to the community and help. Her goal is to finish school and become a caring, compassionate, and loving chemotherapy nurse at St. Jude's.


McKinley Mason

McKinley MasonMcKinley Mason, from Lexington, Kentucky, is a recent graduate from Western Kentucky University with a B.S. in Chemistry. McKinley was a member of many different organizations through out her time at WKU, including the WKU Women's Tennis team, Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, Honors College, and Phi Eta Sigma Honors Fraternity; however, her favorite part of each week was serving with Curbside Ministries. Curbside Ministries is a street ministry with the goal of "showing love, sharing truth while bringing it straight to you." The mission of Curbside is to go into local neighborhoods of Bowling Green and spread the message of Christ to children.

McKinley created a project called, "Big Red's Box of Blessings." WKU students fill as many shoeboxes as they can with hygiene products, school supplies, small toys, snack foods, or notes of encouragement. With help from WKU Athletic teams, Greek organizations, and Campus Ministries, over 400 shoeboxes were filled. Boxes were distributed out on December 7th, 2013. McKinley is hoping for there to be an even better turn out this upcoming year.


Aaron Brzowski

AaronAaron is a Gatton Academy senior planning to major in business management with a focus in non-profit. Aaron is responsible for founding a non-profit called Project Purus, which as of last year is an official WKU group.

In July 2013, Aaron and partner from Kansas, Garrett Wilkinson, founded Project Purus. This amazing project works to provide Sawyer Point One water filters to the SAV Rural School near Kathmandu, Nepal. They have also provided some of the same filters to a group in Haiti and last month provided six water filters to the Next Generation Nepal Orphanage (NGN). NGN's mission is to seek out children orphaned by the civil war that ravaged Nepal in 2006 and reunite them with their families, or find them a new family. Filters from Project Purus now work in each of their orphanage buildings. Some were also given to the retrieval teams that lead searches for these children.

The current project to be completed by April is to provide 100 filters to the families of the students that attend the SAV School. This will encourage more children to attend school and increase health through out the whole community.

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 Last Modified 2/12/15