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Students Give Back Through Bear Tuesday 2018

December 4, 2018

#BearTuesday 2018 was a smashing success! Thanks to more than 160 generous donors, UNC raised more than $25,000, breaking last year's record and making this the best #BearTuesday yet!

Current UNC students also had a special opportunity to get involved and give back on #BearTuesday this year. At various locations throughout campus, students were asked the question: “If you had $500 to give to UNC, where would you give it?”

More than 450 students responded that they would designate their $500 to programs, departments, and services throughout every corner of campus. Out of all the entries, two campus causes were randomly selected to receive donations of $500 on behalf of the students who nominated them!

The first recipient of this special gift is the Center for Human Enrichment (CHE), which was nominated by Lizbeth Cortez-Contreras, a second-year student in Pre-Nursing and Nutrition.

Bear Tuesday gift to CHE

“I chose to nominate the Center for Human Enrichment because this program really made me feel at home when I first came to UNC. I want CHE to keep helping and assisting upcoming freshman and current students at UNC, just like they have and will continue to help me,” Cortez-Contreras says.

The Center for Human Enrichment provides participants with the care, encouragement and support they need to be successful at the University of Northern Colorado. Each year CHE accepts approximately 70 new participants into the program. To be eligible, students must identify as a first-generation college student and meet federal income guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Education. 

CHE provides important services to these UNC students, including tutoring sessions, financial literacy resources, and participation in conferences and workshops. Every year they work to create new and meaningful opportunities for the students they serve. 

 “This gift will help us look at ways to continue sending students to professional conferences,” Director of CHE Shawanna Kimbrough-Hayward says. “We’re limited in what we can actually use our federal grant dollars for and student travel gets really sticky. This gift will help us continue to provide other growth opportunities, so it’s exciting.” 

For several years, CHE has worked hard to raise money for a small group of students to attend the Hispanic Association of Colleges Professional Conference. The cost to attend the conference is approximately $1,500 per student, but the rewards and opportunities are endless. 

“The whole process was so transformative for the students,” says Flora Powells, coordinator of CHE advising services. “Some of them had never seen the ocean before. Some of them had never flown on a plane before, so it was really cool to give them those firsts and they still talk about it to this day. We had two business majors who went, and they got interviews on the spot, so it was huge for them. It was a really wonderful process and it was great that we had so many go. Now we’ll see how many we’re able to take this year.”

The second lucky beneficiary of this special #BearTuesday gift is the Department of Geography and GIS, which was nominated by first-year Economics student Tom Bauer.

“I chose to nominate the Department of Geography & GIS for the donation because during class one day Dr. Dunn mentioned a field study course that would take place over the summer and I thought the $500 would be very helpful for the department in funding this course or others like it,” Bauer says. 

Beat Tuesday GIS Gift

“This money may help out the department as well as students who are trying to further their education. I hope this donation can make things like field studies more attainable for students interested in participating.”

The opportunity Bauer is referring to is a summer field course, “Western Colorado Rivers”, in which students go on a three-day river canoe trip after successfully completing four weeks of course work. While on the trip, students complete field work and analyze the geography of rivers in Western Colorado. These students apply conceptual skills that address environmental issues by using specialized equipment, maps, data storage devices, and field sampling methods.

“I was thrilled and honored that Tom saw the value of experiential education and saw the opportunity to make that experience attainable for other students who might be facing financial obstacles,” says Dr. James Dunn, Department Chair of Geography and GIS. “I’m going to be able to take that money and reduce the price of the program for everyone enrolled in the course. This is my 20th year teaching and you rarely see a student who sees the bigger picture like that.”

 Thank you again for making this the best #BearTuesday yet, and Go Bears!

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