Volunteer and Student Organization of the Month: October

November 16, 2012

Congratulations to Iris Blackburn and the Asian Health Professions Organization, our October 2012 Volunteer and Student Organization of the Month awardees!

Iris Blackburn, radio-television-film senior, is the outstanding student volunteer for the Austin Humane Society (AHS). She sought out the opportunity because of her love of animals, and while growing up in
Utah she had several pets. Since September 2011, she volunteers between seven and 12 hours a week cleaning kennels, walking and training dogs, helping orientate new volunteers and assisting at off-site adoption events.

Recently, Iris’ supervisor agreed to let her foster, or care for at home, a newly admitted dog suffering from depression. After a few weeks the dog now appears to be doing better.

“I’ve learned a lot about working with dogs, and it makes me feel good,” Iris said. “When I’m stressed out it’s nice to sit with a dog.”

The outstanding student organization recognized is the Asian Health Professions Organization (AHPO) for their assistance to the Capital Area Parkinson’s Society (CAPS).

This is the third year that AHPO has worked with CAPS, an agency that serves people diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and their loved-ones by providing support groups, workshops and resources about the disease.

Rikki Foster, human biology, UTEACH and business foundations senior, is the group’s volunteer and service officer. He says AHPO members assist the nonprofit by attending its monthly meeting to help with set-up, and to socialize with attendees.

“Young people aren’t usually helping out with older people and they like company,” said Rikki. “Whenever we come back from summer breaks they’re always glad when we return.”


The VSLC is currently accepting nominations for November’s Outstanding Volunteer and Student Organization.  Anyone who knows of a current student or student organization demonstrating exceptional service to a local agency is encouraged to submit their nomination by Friday, November 30 at 5 p.m.


Special Thanks to Sherry Reddick (DDCE Communications) for much of the content of this article.

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