Bearcats Reach Goal of 5,000 Service Hours

July 5, 2012

By Theo Marshall, video by Wendell Gibbs

CINCINNATI- The University of Cincinnati is proud to announce that since the start of the 2011 academic year its student-athletes have served more than 5,000 hours of community services.

"[Five thousand hours] means that we are dedicated to excellence, not just in sport," said Life Skills Coordinator Cassaundra Thorpe. "To acquire 5,000 hours, there is a lot of time taken out of their day when they could be napping, or resting or eating.

"That's just the extra time that they decide turn around and give back," said Thorpe. "That speaks volumes to everyone - me, the community, and the athletic department - that our student-athletes would rather give back than sit at home."

With students constantly asking her what opportunities are available for them, Thorpe credits the student-athletes as the primary force behind reaching the 5,000-hour mark, calling them "intrinsically motivated."

"I've had students email me already about what's coming up next because they want to get involved."

Since the winter quarter, the Committee to Promote Athlete Welfare and Success (CPAWS) advisor said students have been involved in an array of activities. Led by the University of Cincinnati Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, the fourth year of Gatorade Pong raised $3,000 for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (M.A.D.D.). Once a week, the baseball team spoke to and played ball with kids at the Red Urban Youth Academy, while Women's Track and Field tutored at Corryville Catholic High School. Other sports participated in College Mentor for Kids, women's empowerment conferences.

"If teams are looking for specific groups to volunteer with, then I'll reach out to that contact," said Thorpe. "But, normally, [the teams] will come and ask if they can partake in an event. Everyone wants to have UC represented. So if ever we can have student-athletes there, we try to make it work."

With 5,000 hours completed, next year's goals are set for 5,500 hours and an increase in community connections and partners.

Below is a list of the agencies with which UC student-athletes volunteered in 2011-12:
Baseball - Red Urban Youth Academy, VA Medical Center
Men's Basketball - Dragonfly Foundation, 700 WLW and Meijer, Carson School, UC Health/Drake Center
Women's Basketball - Links Girls Conference, Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon, Barrington of West Chester
Football - Roll Hill Community Learning Center, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Dater Montessori, Loveland Primary School, St. Jude's Hospital, Ronald McDonald House, Easter Seals Work Resource Center, College Mentor for Kids
Men's Golf - City Gospel Mission
Women's Golf - Winton Hills Academy, Toys for Tots Cincinnati
Lacrosse - Our Daily Bread, Matthew 25 Ministries, Susan G. Komen, Toys for Tots Cincinnati, KidZone
Men's Soccer - College Mentor for Kids, Clark High School, St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center
Women's Soccer - St. George Food Pantry, St. Monica-St. George Parish Newman Center, College Mentor for Kids
Swimming and Diving - US Paralympics Trial, Drop-Inn Center
Tennis - WIC Programs, Toys for Tots Cincinnati
Track and Field - Corryville Catholic, VA Medical Hospital, Girls on the Run, Freestore Food Bank, Toys for Tots Cincinnati
Volleyball - Guardian Angels, Hamilton County Special Olympics of Ohio