Engineers Without Borders
Lily Ponitz is the president of the Tech chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), an international organization whose members apply engineering and entrepreneurial expertise to humanitarian aid. EWB focuses on primarily international efforts.
Ponitz herself got involved with EWB’s abroad programs when she visited Cameroon twice on a project to install clean water.
“There was a lot of work involved, but it was a really amazing experience,” Ponitz said. “Not many people get the chance to implement [such a project…]in their college careers, or even after they graduate.”
EWB is currently working with five projects located in Cameroon, Uganda, Panama, Arizona and Atlanta. Their efforts range from establishing clean water sources to constructing sustainable and healthy stoves that preserve air quality.
Habitat for Humanity
Lexi Smith is the president of the Tech chapter of Habitat for Humanity, an international organization that aims to provide housing in impoverished areas across the world. She was involved with the organization in high school and founded the Tech chapter.
“I came into Tech looking for a way to get involved…and they didn’t have a chapter, so I decided I was going to start one,” Smith said. “Two years later, we’re finally up and running.”
Habitat Atlanta has a build on April 13, and the Tech chapter will be lending volunteers.
“It’s amazing, what you can get done in a day,” Smith said. “You’ll lay down the entire roof, or finish the entire front yard…it’s really rewarding to see what a group of thirteen people can get done in a day.”
New volunteers that email [email protected] will be put on a list that sends out information about upcoming builds and project opportunities.
Lorenzo Tolentino leads the Circle K chapter at Tech. Circle K is an international collegiate leadership organization sponsored by Kiwanis International, a co-educational service club founded in 1915.
Tolentino has been involved with Circle K since freshman year.
“I feel that I got really involved in my sophomore year, and the president saw my initiative.”
Tolentino himself has actively participated in weekly volunteer work at the Food Bank and at Kashi, a yoga ashram in Decatur that feeds the homeless in Atlanta.
He works with a group of about 25 dedicated members each semester, and together, they each do an average of twenty hours of service each semester.
“Circle K is unique because there’s no requirement for hours,” Tolentino said, explaining that the casual, friendly approach of Circle K is conducive to a successful volunteer organization.
Circle K offers weekly service opportunities to its members.
Davina Morrow is the president of Mobilizing Opportunities for Volunteer Experience, or MOVE. MOVE is Tech’s largest service organization, and offers a range of different volunteer and community service opportunities.
MOVE is comprised of 16 different committees that address issues ranging from tutoring to medical assistance.
Morrow hosted several initiatives to increase and retain the membership of MOVE. The most prominent of these was Into the Streets, a service project geared exclusively toward freshmen.
‘Into the Streets’ is a program that was created to introduce freshmen to several kinds of service opportunities that MOVE has to offer.
“Every single MOVE officer is involved in this…and each officer has to plan a project,” Morrow said.
Last fall, freshmen participated in 15 different service projects.
All volunteer sign-ups can be done through move.gatech.edu.