The Honors Educational Reach Out (HERO) Program, founded by the Burnett Honors College in 2003, aims to inspire a sense of community and civic responsibility within UCF’s student population.
Maintained by the Honors College, the volunteer program opens its arms to all UCF students and promotes active involvement in over a dozen areas of need.
“The HERO program offers opportunities to UCF students to volunteer at more than fifteen different nonprofit organizations and Title I schools throughout Central Florida. We provide programs related to the environment, health and wellness, animal rescue, education, poverty and homelessness, and the legal and dependency system, in order to appeal to a wide variety of interests,” said HERO Coordinator Charlene Kormandy. “We are always open to students’ ideas for new programs.”
Volunteers can take part in working alongside biologists with the Seminole County Government, attorneys in the child dependency system, medical staff at Orlando Regional Medical Center, environmentalists with the City of Orlando, and many more experienced workers and philanthropists.
Boasting recognition received only a year after its founding, the program earned the attention of the Florida College Leaders, collecting the FCL’s designation as the number one student service program. In 2005, HERO earned the Outstanding Community Service Award as part of National Philanthropy Day.
The HERO programs provide students with an opportunity to apply skills that they have learned in class, relevant to their field of study, as well as provide opportunities to meet new people with similar interests.
“The HERO program offers a multitude of opportunities for the volunteers to give back to the community. The volunteers are exposed to environments that build character and create humble attitudes that allow them to grow as an individual. The knowledge that they can make a difference in the very community that offers them so many opportunities also allows them to reach the goals that they have set for themselves,” says Arianne Abreu, the HERO Health and Wellness Programs Civic Intern.
For more information about volunteering opportunities with the HERO Program contact Hero@ucf.edu.