Operation HOPE to Help Oglethorpe Students Teach Financial Skills to Kids

The global nonprofit Operation HOPE will offer an orientation workshop on the Oglethorpe campus for one of its core programs, Banking on Our Future (BOOF). The program will teach Oglethorpe students valuable financial skills that they, in turn, can take to area schools to educate children about the basic practices related to credit and money management. This is an ideal opportunity for OU students to make a difference, add an impressive experience to your resume and network with business professionals—all while supporting a deserving cause.

The BOOF curriculum is designed to prepare volunteers to educate children ages 9-18 in five areas: Course in Dignity, Basics of Banking, Checking and Savings, Power of Credit and Basic Investments. Thus far, 80 volunteers have been trained and 3,653 children were reached in 2012.

Volunteers in the program include students from other colleges and universities, as well as professionals from businesses around metro Atlanta. With the support of more than 400 private sector companies, 5000 nonprofit organizations and schools and government partners, HOPE has reached over 2 million low-wealth individuals in 70 U.S. cities and South Africa. HOPE’s national corporate partners include business giants like Bank of America, E-Trade Financial, Microsoft, State Farm Insurance, Sun Trust Bank, Toyota and Wells Fargo.

The training will be held on Thursday, March 8,  6-7 pm in Hearst 114. For more information and to reserve a spot in the seminar email Caroline Weimar, in Oglethorpe’s Career Services office, at cweimar@oglethorpe.edu.

Hundreds Volunteer During Oglethorpe’s Orientation Day of Service

Orientation Day at Oglethorpe is unlike orientation at any other school.  While new Petrels do rush to meet their professors and participate in the essential get-to-know-your-campus activities, they also add another stop to their list of things to do:  community service throughout the Atlanta area.  

On Monday morning,  Oglethorpe University’s incoming class volunteered at seven Atlanta-area nonprofits as part of the annual Orientation Day of Service.  In past years students have volunteered during their first week of college, but this is the first time an entering class has reached seven locations within the same day

For most, it was a way to become acclimated with the city around them, and experience hands-on learning about an an Atlanta nonprofit, its mission, and how it serves the community need.  For others, like 17-year old Parth Patel, the biggest personal impact of the project was having the opportunity to create relationships with classmates from around the world.

“[The day of service] was a great way for me to start making friends,” explained Parth, who spent his morning clearing shrubs and picking up litter at nearby Silver Lake.  “I am originally from Zambia, and it is neat to meet other international students from all over… because we’ve been working together all morning, we’ve had plenty of time to talk and learn about each other’s cultures and backgrounds.”

Parth and 19 fellow freshmen volunteered at Silver Lake in preparation for the community’s 100-year anniversary celebration.  But hundreds of other Petrels spread out around the metro area with plenty of other tasks in mind.  About 80 volunteers packed and sorted books for Africa’s youth at Books for Africa in Smyrna while 40 others worked at Medshare, sorting and preparing medical supplies for those in need the world over.  Another 50 offered their hands at Decatur’s Delano Line Park, helping to remove invasive species on its grounds, through a program called Park Pride.  At Grant Park, more than 100 volunteers worked to  prepare and beautify Atlanta’s oldest public park—just in time for next weekend’s Grant Park Summer Shade Festival.  More students visited Open Hand, packaging meals for medically-fragile patients, and more still spent time at Push Push Theatre, cleaning, organizing and painting areas of the theatre in preparation for a television show that is to be filmed there in the fall.

In recognition of their efforts, the Class of 2015 received the Phoenix Award from the office of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed for “exemplary commitment to community service” and “for its hard work and dedication toward improving our quality of life and making our city a better place to live, work and play.” The Phoenix Award is given to organizations and individuals who have made significant contributions to the residents of Georgia.

“Oglethorpe University has expanded its Orientation Day of Service for incoming students to reach multiple nonprofit sites in the Atlanta area,” said Tamara Nash, director of the Oglethorpe’s Center for Civic Engagement. “Our goal is to make the service experience more impactful for both the nonprofits and for the students.”

OU Men’s Basketball On the Road for International Competition

The OU Men's Basketball team won their first of three games Monday night over professional squad Escazu, 74-71.

It may be summer break, but the Oglethorpe Men’s Basketball team continues to sport the black and gold.  The Stormy Petrels have taken their game on the international road to Costa Rica, mixing competition and culture in an overseas team-building experience.  Head coach Philip Ponder, assistant coach Andrew Tulowitsky, and nine players from last season are spending seven nights in the country, competing in three international games and taking in some of the country’s famed cultural and educational excursions. 

“This should be a great trip for our student-athletes,” said Coach Ponder. “The guys will have a chance to experience another culture while also playing some top-notch basketball games. Team building outings like this can really help with group chemistry.”

The team is set to tour the National Museum and Theater, visit the Supreme Court,  go zip-lining, and take a whitewater rafting trip in the country’s tropical waters.  In true Oglethorpe fashion, the guys also will spend time volunteering at a local shelter for disadvantaged youths.

Even after a long day of international travel, rising senior Andrew Steioff took time to report to the OU Blog from the road:

“My name is Andrew Steioff, a communication major from Duluth, Georgia and a member of the Oglethorpe basketball team which is embarking on a week long tour of the country of Costa Rica.  Before the trip, my teammates and I were all anxious and excited to see what the trip had in store for us.  Little did we know that our first day would end up being a little hectic.  Continue reading