YSU Honors College Students Serve Together Virtually

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Nine students from the YSU Honors College transcribed dozens of documents during the inaugural event this week. This was the first virtual group volunteer activity hosted by the Honors College, and future events will be planned for later this semester.

Students worked independently for two hours on transcription projects, which included newly discovered Theodore Roosevelt Papers and a variety of correspondence and records from the National American Woman Suffrage Association. Breaks were allotted for the students to discuss their projects and spend time getting to know each other.

“One of the best parts of the evening was seeing the students be able to converse, smile and laugh while serving together from the comfort of their residences,” said Mollie Hartup, coordinator of student development and retention for the YSU Honors College. “While certain activities are being adapted during COVID-19, we are still here to support our students as they serve and learn.”

Honors students, who annually give back at least 60 hours to the community, have been seeking remote volunteer opportunities as a way to continue to serve during the pandemic. Incoming first-year honors student Julie Centofanti, who proposed the idea of hosting a transcribe-a-thon, said she was amazed at how fast the time went when transcribing with others.

Centofanti, a 2020 graduate of South Range High School who is exploring potential STEM majors, has embraced virtual volunteering, because it allows her to be an active member of the Honors College while protecting the health of her father who has a suppressed immune system due to having a successful kidney transplant more than 15 years ago. Pete Centofanti has a rare, non-hereditary auto-immune disease that only attacks the kidneys.

“When I was younger, my father was unable to play with me because he spent most of his time on dialysis and bed rest. In July 2005, my father received a new gift of life. Someone passed away in an accident, and the family generously donated the person’s organs,” said Julie. “My father, mother and I think of the donor’s family every day because it has improved our lives, not only my Dad’s. My father has never missed a parent-teacher conference, any school functions, piano recitals, or softball games. He even coached softball for several years after his transplant. With his newfound health, my father is always ready to help anyone.” 

More than 1,200 students are part of YSU’s Honors College. Collectively, the students amass approximately 60,000 hours of volunteer service annually through a variety of projects which impact the campus and community. Learn more about the Honors College at www.ysu.edu/honors. 

Pictured at top: YSU Honors College student Julie and her father, Pete Centofanti.

SOURCE: YSU Honors College media.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.