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Child facility gets cleaned up for fall

EX-CEL members volunteer at YWCA

by Sally Claunch
sxc8239@exchange.uta.edu
The Shorthorn staff

Susan English had to instruct electrical engineering junior Akin Akinboro on the art of scrubbing chairs.

"You know how these guys are; they don't know much about cleaning," the Student Activities associate director said jokingly.

Members of EX-CEL campus activities volunteered at the YWCA Child Development Center as part of their community service project. EX-CEL members painted walls, washed windows and chairs, raked leaves and cleaned out a storage shed at the on-campus center.

Akinboro, campus and community service director, said the organization's members wanted to help out not only those students who have children, but community residents as well.

"We look around and see people that need help, and they're close by," he said.

University students are parents to about half of the 120 children who attend the center.

While Akinboro scrubbed chairs, pre-business sophomore David Saputra spent the afternoon cleaning out the center's storage shed and sorting broken toys from the toys the center can still use.

"We're separating the good from the bad," he said as he stomped on a spider and ran out of the shed. "I don't like spiders; it's just a thing."

Saputra decided he would rather clean shelves than face spiders.

Judi Bishop, YWCA executive director for Fort Worth and Tarrant County, said that since the center was taken over by her organization in May, it hasn't had the time to paint and clean out the shed.

"It's a tremendous benefit to have them out here helping out," she said.

EX-CEL President Seth Ressl said this was the first time the organization has worked at the child development center.

He opened a bucket of paint and began to paint over scratches on the walls made by the cribs.

"We're going to touch up the dirty spots and places where the paint's come off," he said.

Information systems junior Dominique Ighedosa washed windows and said he enjoyed doing the work.

"It's a great opportunity to serve the community," he said. "You're doing it for fun, and it makes you feel good to do something to help somebody."

Scott Phelan, assistant director of Greek Life, also washed windows and said how important it is for students to be active in the community.

"Everyone needs to give back because the community gives a lot to the campus," he said.

Pre-med freshman Nickey Robin helped Akinboro scrub the chairs and said she has helped out at homeless shelters and community centers for children.

"It makes a good, clean environment for the children," she said.

The center's director, Jane Parris, said she appreciated the hard work from the EX-CEL members.

"It helps a bunch," she said. "We just love all of our UTA volunteers."

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