Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Telling Stories: Angelica Haennicke

     It was an extra-credit project for her LAS 101 class that brought first-year student Angelica Haennicke to the University YMCA for the Friday Forum. Moved by the 80 year-old lecture series, she has earned more than extra credit. Angelica was inspired by what she found in the Fall 2013 lecture series entitled “Rethinking Security: Beyond Mass Incarceration”. Enrolled in the LAW 199 course Actual Innocence: Issues In American Criminal Justice, Angelica watched her course work come alive during the lecture series- which she continued to attend even after she earned her extra-credit. 

     “Friday Forum puts a perspective on classroom discussion, giving it a face and showing the social effects. It connects the classroom to the real world.” 

     Inspired by her experience at Friday Forum, Angelica applied for and received an internship with the Center for Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University. During the Summer of 2014, she’ll join a group of 12 students for education, experience, and networking. And what’s more, she’ll bring her experience back the University of Illinois campus as she continues her studies in Psychology and Global Studies. She’ll also add to future conversations at the Y by participating in the Friday Forum Committee, the group that shapes the direction of each semester’s topic and speakers. Looking forward, Angelica can’t wait to put her knowledge to work in an International NGO. And we can’t 
wait to help her make it happen. 

     Dozens of student stories like this exist at the University YMCA. We want to provide the opportunity for even more to be written. 

To learn more about programming that you can find only at the University YMCA or to donate, visit

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Press Release: Volunteers Needed for Dump & Run May Collection Days

April 22, 2014

For media inquiries, contact: Megan Flowers, Communications Director
217.337.1500 |

Volunteers Needed for Dump & Run: May Collection Days in Champaign-Urbana

CHAMPAIGN, IL– April 22, 2014 – The University YMCA is seeking Dump & Run volunteers in Champaign-Urbana to help collect, sort and pack up reusable items from move out and spring cleaning. Volunteers are needed during Dump & Run’s collection days from May 12-17 and from May 19-23.

For each volunteer, volunteer orientation will take place at the University YMCA at the beginning of each volunteer shift. No heavy lifting is required. Volunteer groups are also encouraged to sign-up. 
If you would like to join the University YMCA’s Dump & Run program as a volunteer, call the University YMCA at 217-337-1500, or visit

"When you volunteer, you get first dibs on the things collected (after only 6 hours of volunteering) - and we get an unbelievable amount of great things donated! So come out and volunteer for this great cause," said Alicia Beck, Development Director for the University YMCA.

Because of Dump & Run volunteers, each year six semi-trailers worth of used, but quality goods out of Champaign-Urbana's dumpsters and landfills each year. This project reduces litter and consumer waste, saves space in landfills, lowers dumping costs for certified housing and apartments, provides inexpensive items for folks to purchase in the fall - and acts as a major fundraiser for the University YMCA.

The University YMCA is the oldest non-profit in Champaign County, connecting campus to community since 1873. The University YMCA combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century and a half of experience in developing cause-driven leaders.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Leaders for Global Change

Thank you to everyone that was able to attend the University YMCA's first-ever Leaders for Global Change Conference!
At the conference on Saturday, April 12, presenters met with 15 student leaders with the goal of giving them the resources they need to explore and pursue meaningful international service learning experiences that promote change.
Current Interim Director of Study Abroad at the University of Illinois, Mr. Bo Williams, set the agenda for the day with an inspiring piece of how his thoughts on service learning came to fruition. Following his address, two breakout sessions were held, allowing student leaders to further cultivate their own perception of service learning and teach them how to put it into practice.
The University YMCA will also like to give a special thanks to:
Valerie Werpetinski 
for presenting on Creative Problem-Solving in International Service -Learning Projects
Madhu Viswanathan 
for presenting on Marketplace Literacy
William Biddle and his panel of students 
for presenting on Service learning while Studying Abroad
Jessica Loiacono 
for presenting on Building effective partnerships with local organizations
Alan C. Hansen, Laura D. Hahn, and Prasanta K. Kalita 
for presenting on Learning to practice your profession in a global context

Student participants of the Y's first Leaders for Global
Change Conference held on Saturday, April 12.
If you are interested in organizing next year's conference, please contact Enrique Rebolledo at
If you would like to join the Y's Global Engagement newsletter, email Megan Flowers at

Leaders for global change is a part of the University YMCA's International Service Learning Initiative. Learn more about the Y's Global Engagement partnerships at