Over half a century ago, President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation’s youth to “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” That message continues to be embraced at Baruch College, where students give of their time, talents, and precious resources with generosity.
Baruch’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers a perfect example. One thousand four hundred students applied to participate in VITA, which, in its over-20-year history, has helped tens of thousands of low-income and immigrant New Yorkers prepare state and federal tax returns for free. In 2011 about 250 VITA students filed over 4,000 tax returns from February through mid-April.
Also in April, the College hosted its seventh annual American Cancer Society Relay For Life®. The 15-hour, overnight walkathon held in Baruch’s Athletics and Recreation Complex main gymnasium raised over $80,000 for the charity. Eighty-eight teams and over 1,000 students participated; hundreds of students, faculty, and staff sponsored Baruch friends and colleagues.
The devastation caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in March elicited a quick response from the Baruch student body. Since the disaster, student organizations across campus have raised money for victim relief with such events as the Help Japan fundraiser, hosted by the Undergraduate Student Government and several clubs and organizations. Over $11,400 was raised in March alone.
“Our students—who juggle school, jobs, and family responsibilities—are amazingly generous. Although community service is an essential component of the mission of many of our student organizations, Baruch’s students go above and beyond in their efforts to positively impact the lives of others in this city, country, and abroad,” said Shadia Sachedina, Baruch’s interim director of student life.