February 4, 2011 - 12:00 PM
Wow, I think I realized this week just how much work starting a new student organization on campus really takes. buildOn is a national organization that engages students around the country in a dynamic three part program: local community service, education about different global issues, and fundraising to build schools in developing countries.
My efforts to bring buildOn to UO have been on the radar screen for the past year and a half, with the planting of different "seeds" all over campus. I knew I wanted to bring buildOn to campus as soon as I finished the Holden Leadership Center's (HLC) "Leadership for the 21st Century" class as a young, eager freshman.
In the past year and a half, I have had many meetings with different staff on campus to share my vision and build support for it. John Duncan, the Executive Director of the HLC, has been an amazing resource, and a big inspiration in the face of challenging times. He's reminded to keep going when I was too overwhelmed by the prospect of handling all the nitty gritty logistical details, or when I was feeling discouraged by the low turnout at interest meetings.
Now I have big, exciting news: BuildOn just hired Tom Silverman to be their Global Chapters Manager. His sole job is to work with anyone who wants to start a chapter outside of the typical high school program model. This is a huge step in the right direction because it means that the organization now has the resources to support chapters in a more holistic and sustainable way. Me and my fellow Ducks are SO excited for Tom to help us kickstart buildOn when he visits during National Volunteer Week in April!