The Bridge Initiative

The Bridge Initiative, a Penn State organization, has gathered a number of students who are willing to lend their time volunteering.

“We have a simple, straight-forward goal: to make society a better place,” Vice President of marketing for The Bridge Initiative Jieun Yoo said. “We are the bridge between local organizations in need of volunteers and passionate students who strive to make positive changes in society.”

The Bridge Initiative was established three years ago by a group of Korean students, Ellen Taricani, the club adviser, said.

The club also aims to improve the relationships among different ethnicities and genders and students of every background encouraged to join, Seul Ji Choi, a member of the club, said.

Currently, The Bridge Initiative consists of roughly 100 members and continues to grow each year, Taricani said.

“It is a student-run group that has a lot of energy and passion,” Taricani said.

Yoo (senior-advertising) said the club participates in 10 to 15 service projects a semester.

Some of those service projects include organizations, companies and businesses such as PAWS, the Alzheimer’s Association, House of Care, Heart for Homeless, Boal Mansion Museum, Water Conservancy, Columbus Chapel and Discovery Space.

While the club has a busy schedule with various volunteering excursions, members of The Bridge Initiative still manage to host leisurely activities such as its fall picnic.

“We cooked food and played games together. The picnic really gave us a good opportunity to know one another better and help build a stronger group for The Bridge Initiative,” Choi (freshmen-department of undergraduate studies) said.

The group recently held a conference in Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center to promote the club and encourage other students to actively participate in volunteership.

In its series forum, “Be Enthusiastic Get Involved Now,” held last Wednesday, members spoke about the importance of getting involved and how anyone can make a difference in their community.

Yoo said members have participated in Penn State-based charities such as The Color Run, the Penn State Interfraternity Council/ Panhellenic Dance Marathon, Relay For Life and the Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run.

In addition to helping out local communities, The Bridge Initiative also seeks out volunteering opportunities in other regions of the world that could benefit from their community service, Yoo said.


To read the article which was originally published on The Daily Collegian, click here.

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