Class of 2014 shows willingness to serve
Published: Sunday, August 15, 2010
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 17:11
The summer before freshman year in college is a daunting period for many students — the school workload, the independence, the notion of stepping into adulthood — the pressures are myriad and taxing. Although countless students succumb to the obstacles and demands, a group of incoming 2014 freshmen have not only managed to begin their college careers with leadership and service at the forefront of their concerns, but have geared their skills towards helping the underprivileged in the Dallas community.
SMU freshman Daniel Poku founded the service organization Mustang Heroes, and used social networking to not only promote his cause, but to get others students involved in the process as well. All of the Mustang Heroes officers were acquainted through Facebook and have found a common bond in their desire to help others. The Facebook group currently has 183 members and is growing daily; the members credit much of their initial success to the site.
Poku was inspired by "an empathy and passion of helping the underprivileged, and touching service experiences in high school that taught me that even young students like us can make a more permanent and positive impact in another person's life."
Mustang Heroes plans to set themselves apart from other campus service organizations by creating sustainable service projects that leave a meaningful impact. They plan to steer clear of simply providing "the touch-and-go type of service that does nothing but help someone for an hour or a day," said Poku.
Mustang Heroes Co-President Carissa Grisham echoes Poku's sentiment; "if in the first two years we only rescue one child from the grips of poverty, that is enough - we have done our job."
Mustang Heroes is awaiting their meeting with the Student Organization Committee and is currently not an official campus group; however, if their 18-month probationary status is successful, the group will become a chartered campus organization. While they may lack an official position with the University, the group continues to formulate service projects for the upcoming semester.
The Band-Aid book drive is the first service drive that Mustang Heroes plans to complete. "We are collecting used books and band-aids that have characters printed on them such asHannah Montana, and Sponge-bob…on August 18th from 5:00-7:00pm in front of Dallas hall, near the flag pole," said Co-President Jessica Gardner.
Although Mustang Heroes was founded primarily by members of the Class of 2014, its members encourage the participation of all SMU students.
"We are even working on developing a campaign to encourage professors and faculty to help out as well," said Poku. The group plans on holding their first meeting on the second week of classes, and plan to meet in the Varsity on the first Thursday of every month.
SMU sophomore and AARO leader Roza Essaw already backs the group, "it just shows the potential that the incoming class of 2014 can have," said Essaw, "most students are worried about roommates, moving in, and mustang corral, while these students care about impacting the metroplex."