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Looking to become a leader? CCEL gives you the chance

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Weber State University student volunteers work on Done in a Day service project for CCEL in Spring 2016. (Juliana Palacio / The Signpost)

Weber State University’s Center for Community Engaged Learning is one of several organizations on campus that offers service projects throughout the year for those seeking to become more involved in their campus and local communities.

Brian Allen, junior, got a leadership position on the CCEL team — his first leadership experience through the university. The position he held was for the YMCA program. The majority of the time, his events took place in James A. Madison Elementary.

“The enjoyment of doing service with others is personally rewarding, and I got to meet really cool people,” said Allen.

Before applying for the position on the service team, Allen’s leadership career began as a student body officer in junior high and high school. He also got the opportunity to work at a scout camp, where he taught horsemanship and was in charge of leading groups.

The position on the service team brought challenges he hadn’t faced in the past.

“It got quite stressful to lead when also worrying about tests and finals. Trying to juggle priorities was hard,” Allen said.

Tyler Chapple, a junior, was also on the service team at the same time as Brian. He led the events that were planned for Big Brother Big Sister Utah and was also in charge of recruiting volunteers. The events were hosted by WSU.

“It was great to work with the program and the students,” Chapple said. “Nonetheless, putting time and effort into an event and sometimes people not showing up was truly one of the more frustrating aspects of being a leader.”

Kelsey Buchanan, senior, was the director for the general service team last year. The team consisted of nine students. Each student was a chair for a different organization.

“I guided them and answered any questions they had, as well as gave them ideas and support,” said Buchanan.

Buchanan decided to apply for the director position because she enjoyed being the chair for the YMCA the year before.

“I wanted to continue to grow as a leader and a person. I thought the director position would do that for me,” Buchanan said. “It was definitely one of the best parts of my college experiences. I was never a leader before I joined the team. I was always a volunteer until I decided to apply for the service team. It taught me how to handle different situations and communicate.”

Buchanan suggests anyone who loves service and volunteering with the community, to apply for a position on the service team even if they do not have any prior experience as a leader. Service was what brought her to the CCEL. “I was hooked,” said Buchanan.

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