The Portland State Extended Studies department is partnering up with Oregon Public Broadcasting to raise funds that help OPB provide their free radio and television broadcasts. For the past few years, the School of Extended Studies has gathered student volunteers to participate in OPB fundraising activities.
The Portland State Extended Studies department is partnering up with Oregon Public Broadcasting to raise funds that help OPB provide their free radio and television broadcasts.
For the past few years, the School of Extended Studies has gathered student volunteers to participate in OPB fundraising activities. Most student participants help with a quarterly “Fund a Drive,” manning the phones and taking calls from donors.
The next Fund a Drive will be held from 7 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 11. Dessert and snacks will be provided and some transportation may be available for students.
Shelly Rude, a market specialist with Extended Studies and a PSU student, has been working to gather students who are interested in volunteering. Rude also participates in the volunteer program.
“It’s a nice way to give back to the community,” Rude said.
Tyrene Bada, a Portland State student, said she plans to volunteer with the next Fund a Drive.
“I’ve done it once before and I had a really good time,” she said. “I wanted to find a way to support OPB and I thought it would be a good way to do that, especially getting to work with PSU students and also supporting PSU.”
Extended Studies is involved with OPB because the department is an outreach program that provides students with experiences they are unable to get elsewhere on campus, Rude said. Extended Studies offers art programs, summer sessions and professional development for students in business and IT, a German intensive program, and independent studies, among others.
“We aren’t a capstone or credit program like the rest of PSU, so we like to give students a chance to reach out into the community,” Rude said. “It’s an opportunity to give both staff and students an experience with OPB, an experience in a television environment, with volunteering, and in a call center.”
Rude said that the partnership between Extended Studies and OPB is something that will help the community, both Portland and Portland State.
“I think we stand for the same thing, educating the public,” Rude said. “Groups like us should stick together and help each other if we can.” OPB’s mission is to give voice to the community, connecting Oregon.
Because the volunteer hours are not excessive, Rude said, the program is a great choice for busy students. “It’s a really low commitment, fun, and high-energy way to give back to the community.”
Rude has worked with Extended Studies for a little over a year, and helped organize the past few volunteer groups that helped with OPB’s membership drives.
Rude said she enjoys volunteering with OPB because she listens to the radio station. “It’s a nice way to get together with friends and go out and do something good,” she said.
Volunteers with OPB’s Fund a Drive must first pass a quick and easy training process. Then workers will take callers’ donations during the fund drive, using a laptop.
“It’s fun,” Rude said. “You get some interesting phone calls and there’s always a restaurant that donates good food.”
Volunteers can receive gifts for reaching a certain level of donations.
Volunteering with OPB through Extended Studies not only gives students experience with volunteerism and community outreach, Rude said, but it also gives students the opportunity to learn about television production. The professional development program in Extended Studies allows student volunteers to work on advertising for OPB’s morning show.
OPB representatives did not respond for comment by press time.
The School of Extended Studies provides university students, professionals and educators opportunities through publications and learning programs, both on-site and distance programs.
In the past, Extended Studies has pulled in groups of up to 15 students to volunteer in an OPB membership drive. Now the office is working to expand on that number and is currently looking to fill 25 volunteer spots.
To sign up, contact Shelly Rude at [email protected] To learn more about OPB and volunteering, visit www.opb.org/insideopb/volunteering.