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Empowering Communities - HelpingOthers - ServiceThrough Action, Resources, & Sustainability
The ECHOSTARS Volunteer Program is a living, learning, and serving experience for students committed to making a change in their communities. As ECHOSTARS members, students will become a part of a growing student service movement by providing volunteer service as youth mentors, companions, and more in Western Maryland.
The ECHOSTARS Volunteer Program is a living, learning, and serving experience for students committed to making a change in their communities. As ECHOSTARS members, students will become a part of a growing student service
movement by providing volunteer service as youth mentors, companions, and more in Western Maryland.
Recruitment for the ECHOSTARS program takes place during Preview FSU. However, if you have been accepted by Frostburg State University you can pre-apply here. Students that pre-apply will be given priority during the recruitment process at Preview FSU. This program is open to all first-year students. There are 65 openings available in the program and enrollment is on a first-come, first served basis.
All AmeriCorps members are required to complete a three part criminal history check. Upon interest being initiated the free online public sex offender registry will be conducted through https://www.nsopw.gov. At the point of interview or selection the state and FBI fingerprinting process will be initiated.
Students in the program will be minimum-time AmeriCorps members. The University will also partially match this award with an on-campus housing credit of $500. This award will be credited to the member’s sophomore year bill.
As part of this living-learning-serving program, all ECHOSTARS will live together in Gray Hall along with their upper-class Team Leaders. Gray Hall is located up-hill and near a majority of the Academic Buildings on campus. Gray Hall is the most recently renovated hall on campus and houses an ECHOSTARS student office/lounge including, a Wii, TV, computers and printing on the basement floor and accessible to all ECHOSTARS during Team Leader office hours.
Members will serve 300 hours over the course of the school year which averages out to 10 hours per school week. Hours can also be accumulated over winter and summer break for students who have difficulties completing their hours during the academic year.
Hours are divided between Direct hours and Training hours. Direct hours are when the ECHOSTARS are directly working on a project or with someone who needs their help. Up to 60 hours can be counted as Training hours pertaining to certain classes (must be pre-approved), cultural plays, or educational events.
ECHOSTARS serve at their identified service site (see below for a description) a minimum of twice a week. If their class schedule allows, students may choose to serve more than twice a week. Students typically serve Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday depending on their class schedule. Special Projects (see below for a description) are offered throughout the week and on weekends to ensure students can complete their hours.
Transportation is provided to all sites and Special Projects (except for on-campus service opportunities).
"Every time I serve, I leave with a feeling of fulfillment and accomplishment. My service helps me relieve the stresses of college and life by going out and forgetting about myself for a while and focusing on helping others."
"I think that the ECHOSTARS have really helped me since I got on campus at Frostburg. As an ECHOSTAR, I have made some of the best friends I have here on campus. I have learned to meet new people and use my time wisely to help others."
"Because of my service, I am more open to new experiences that take me out of my comfort zone. It has been good to see that I can help beyond what I thought I could do. I feel like I have helped someone’s future for the best."
"Because of my service with the ECHOSTARS, I have grown in my ability to interact effectively with children. I am different because I know I assisted someone complete their homework and in some instances, better understand a subject for school and it makes me feel good about myself."
"I have had so many experiences and life lessons throughout my time with ECHOSTARS, and honestly I could make a long list of them. As ECHOSTARS, we are given so many opportunities to serve, and every event is fun and filled with laughs. Before, I would talk and talk about how much I wanted to help out for my community, but now I am actually doing something. Honestly if I stopped now, I wouldn't know what to do. I would feel so lost."