California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    CLU alumnus is getting his hands dirty

    Greg Starling, a 2011 alumnus, has been traveling around the world, helping communities in need, since graduating from California Lutheran University. Starling will continue to complete multiple projects during 1,700 hours of service work, which he will complete with the National Civilian Community Corps.

    “American Corps focuses on many diverse projects focusing on disaster relief; however, we also do projects relating to helping the environment, building houses and strengthening communities. It is very hard work but very fulfilling at the same time,” said Starling.

    Starling first participated in a service project for the NCCC in Camden, N.J. at the Camden Children’s Garden.

    “Their mission is to inspire and educate people of all ages by providing opportunities to improve their quality of life, health and community through horticulture,” said Starling. “We did a lot of planting in their garden as well as help them host educational events at the garden. It was very interesting working in Camden, as it is one of the poorest cities in the U.S.
    However, our team was very motivated to do the best work that we could do at the garden.”

    A Boy Scout at a very young age, Starling began his involvement in community service work for his town’s annual Blues and Barbecue event.

    “I had a really great time doing it, and the people working the event were really fun to be around. I enjoy the attitude that everyone has about volunteering and how they are choosing to do it without any pay but still able to have a great time doing it,” said Starling.

    His interest in doing service work led him to join the NCCC.

    “Being in NCCC really gives me a chance to develop leadership skills while traveling to very diverse places and doing service work that we actually can see results of how our work is benefiting the community,” said Starling. “Being in a team-based setting allows you to grow as a person and a leader because the people you are with don’t have the same background as you, and you have to find ways to find middle ground so that your team works as efficiently as possible.”

    The NCCC provided Starling with opportunities he could not have received in a traditional work setting.

    “In addition, being part of a team-based program with NCCC gives you an opportunity to partake in a specialty role, which is assigned to every member, in which the assignment of the role is to either help with the functionality of the group or to further engage the community in which we are serving,” said Starling

    By completing 1,700 hours of service work, Starling hopes to make a difference in the communities he helps out in and even start his own nonprofit organization one day.

    “I want to be able to proudly know that I made a difference in each of the communities that I served in. I would love to start my own nonprofit now that I have intensely worked with one,” said Starling.

    The courses he took and professors he had at CLU helped Starling decide to become involved in the NCCC.

    “Being a criminal justice major, I have learned how many people turn to crime because of lack of opportunity and lack of resources that are made available to them. Service work is great because it reaches people who are most vulnerable to turn to crime and hopefully shows them that people do care about them and, therefore, gives them a chance to better their lives,” said Starling.

    Starling suggests to CLU students who are considering nonprofit work to remember not every day of work will be easy.

    “Make sure you realize that not all days will be great. There will be days in which things do not go your way. Make sure you always take a step back and look at your efforts. You will be amazed with what you see,” said Starling.

    Laura Mahoney, who is also part of the NCCC, has had the opportunity to work with Starling. According to Mahoney, Starling never complains, even when the work is hard or unpleasant.

    “Working with Greg is a stress reliever. He will accomplish any task, some of which are monotonous, tiresome, or just plain grunt work, without ever complaining. Greg is our yes man because despite the difficulty or unpleasantness of a job, he will do it because he sees how important each task is for the greater good,” said Mahoney.

    Students at CLU who have heard of the service work that Starling has done are proud that he is part of the school and feel that his work is a great motivation for future alumni.

    “I think it is really awesome that he is from our school and that he is doing something so big and inspiring. It’s a great motivation for future alumni to have,” said junior Katelyn Jensen.

     

    Kikey Aguila Bello
    Staff Writer
    Published April 17, 2013

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