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Empowering Communities - HelpingOthers –ServiceThrough Action, Resources, &
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.
Students in the program will be minimum-time AmeriCorps members. Upon completion of the program students will receive a $1,175 education award and a $500 on-campus living stipend. This program is open to all first-year students. There are 65 slots available in the program and enrollment is on a first-come, first served basis.
Beth Bair, National Service Coordinator
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 broken up 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 regular 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).
Cumberland YMCA: Monday-Thursday 2:30-6:30pm
At the Cumberland YMCA, ECHOSTARS assist with the afterschool program. They help distribute snacks, assist with homework, and participate in activities with the kids.
North East Elementary: Monday-Thursday 2:30-6:30pm
At the NE Elementary, ECHOSTARS assist with the afterschool program. They help distribute snacks, assist with homework, and participate in activities with the kids.
Cumberland Salvation Army: Monday-Thursday 2:30-5:30pm
At the Cumberland Salvation Army, ECHOSTARS assist with the afterschool program. They help distribute snacks, assist with homework, and participate in activities with the kids.
Tech Wizards: Monday-Thursday 2:30-5:30pm
At Tech Wizards, ECHOSTARS help mentor students in their Science and Technology studies. This may include projects such as building volcanoes, small robots, and so forth.
Frostburg Senior Center: Monday-Thursday 11:00am-2:00pm
At the Frostburg Senior Center, ECHOSTARS get a chance to talk with and hang out with the seniors. They also play games and assist with lunch. The Senior Center also provides lunch to the students.
Read to Succeed: Monday-Thursday 4:30-7:30pm
At the Read to Succeed program, ECHOSTARS act as mentors to children Kindergarten through eighth grade. They work with children on homework, develop academic skills, and accompany them to cultural/educational plays on FSU’s campus.
Please note that these are not all of the Special Projects we offer, these are just the projects that have been the favorites of former ECHOSTARS.
Lion's Chicken BBQ
Twice a year, the LaVale Lion's Club holds a chicken BBQ. ECHOSTARS assist with serving the chicken to customers. All money raised at the BBQ is donated back to the community to non-profits in the area.
Dan's Rock Clean Up
Dan's Rock is a part of Dan’s Mountain State Park in Allegany County where residents and college students go for recreation. The ECHOSTARS go to Dan's Rock to pick up litter to help maintain the natural beauty of the area.
Relay For Life
Relay For Life is one of the biggest events on FSU's campus ever year. The event's purpose is to raise cancer awareness and money for the American Cancer Society. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. one Friday in April.
Cumberland MS Walk
The Cumberland MS Walk also occurs in April and is to promote Multiple Sclerosis awareness and raise money for the National MS Society. ECHOSTARS help with registration, hand out water and snacks to the walkers, and place signs along the path to direct the participants.
Day of Caring and Sharing
The Day of Caring and Sharing is another spring event that brings together the Frostburg community and the FSU community to clean up the City of Frostburg. Volunteers with this event help paint parking meter poles, sweep the streets, plant flowers, pick up trash, and other necessary projects.
Canal Pride Days
Canal Pride Days is a three day-event sponsored by the C&O Canal Trust each spring to clean up the parks and the trail along the C&O Canal in Western Maryland. This year, the ECHOSTARS helped to paint a lock house, landscaping along the trail, and revamp BBQ sites at one of the parks.
Deep Creek Dunk
The Deep Creek Dunk is a fundraiser for the Maryland Special Olympics. Participants dunk themselves in the cold water of Deep Creek Lake to show support for the Special Olympics. The ECHOSTARS assist with registration for this event.
Special Olympics Winter Games
Special Olympics Maryland is a competition for individuals with mental and/or physical disabilities. Volunteers can help with data entry, escorting athletes on the mountain, and/or participating in the award ceremony.
The Book Giveaway is a week-long event in which thousands of books are donated to the University. Community members and students can select as many books as they’d like for free. ECHOSTARS are needed to help organize the books, assist community members, and track the books.
Oxfam Hunger Banquet
The Oxfam Hunger Banquet is an event put on every fall semester to promote world hunger awareness. It is an educational event for community members, students, and ECHOSTARS. The event would be counted as training hours. If the ECHOSTARS would like to help facilitate the event for direct service hours, opportunities are available.
ECHOSTARS I, II, III
General Psychology-3 Credits
Monday & Friday 11:00am-12:15pm
Professor: M. Bice
Introduction to Higher Education (ORIE) 1 Credit
Wednesday & Friday 10:00am- 10:50am
Professor: P. O'Brien, R. Cooper, or L. Hanes.
Approximately 15 students will be allowed to choose to participate in another learning community as long as it does not conflict with their scheduled service times. This option can be chosen at Preview FSU. A list will be provided of learning communities that will compliment the ECHOSTARS program.