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Club connects students through leadership, service

Posted On: 2013-09-24


By Brittany Dierken
September 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm

A club at Barrett, the Honors College, has created a place for students to engage with the community outside of ASU through volunteering.

The Barrett Leadership and Service Team was established in 2006 and follows three pillars, leadership, social service and signature events, to positively impact their community.

Management entrepreneurship sophomore Elizabeth Coh, social service director of BLAST, said the club has taught her how to design exciting events for students.

“I have learned the values of leadership that come with taking a step back, and creating and facilitating opportunities for other students,” she said. “As the social service director, I try to engage as many students as possible by offering and setting up opportunities such as tutoring at the Children First Academy or chairing our monthly events.”

Keith Southergill, the organization’s adviser, said members have started a new biweekly program at the Children First Academy of Tempe that allows the honors students at ASU to tutor homeless and underprivileged kids.

BLAST is supporting the Family Weekend on Sept. 28 by directing traffic and serving breakfast to visiting parents and volunteering at the Homecoming Block Party and Parade on Oct. 19.

“For the second year in a row, we will be collaborating with our sister organization at the Downtown campus, BLAST’D, to enter a float into the Homecoming Parade,” Southergill said.

Southergill said he sees more than 40 students attending each meeting and showing interest in volunteering at events and taking on leadership roles.

“If someone chooses to become a part of BLAST, we want that member to feel like they are part of an organized, cohesive and positive group that cares about their development as a person,” Southergill said.

Denise Minter, event coordinator and co-adviser of BLAST, said helping out the disadvantaged children has been a tremendous mutual success for both CFA and Barrett students.

Coh said the club promotes social service through many opportunities that aim to enrich the Barrett experience.

“Our monthly events are fun and social, but more importantly, they contain a service element that benefits the college community as well as the surrounding areas,” she said.

BLAST is trying to expand the roles of members and offer even more opportunities that will allow them to develop leadership experiences, Coh said.

Biological sciences and biochemistry sophomore Breanne McCarthy, the club’s president, said BLAST has created many traditions through the events they hold and commitment to Barrett, the Honors College.

The club, as one of the largest organizations in Barrett, has established many traditions such as the Picnic Day of food and games the weekend before finals begin, McCarthy said.

“I am excited that BLAST is offering increasing numbers of leadership opportunities for members, and I am thrilled to see how BLAST will continue to make even more of an impact on our Barrett, ASU and Phoenix community each year,” she said.

Reach the reporter at or follow her on Twitter @brittanydierken