BenU at Mesa students receive charter from Rotaract service organization

May 15, 2015

Mesa volunteers

Mesa, Arizona ~ A concern for the welfare of others and living and working in community are among the core values by which Benedictines live, so joining an organization dedicated to taking action for positive change seems like a natural fit.

A group of nearly two dozen students at Benedictine University at Mesa was recently awarded a national charter from Rotaract, a service club for young men and women ages 18-30 that provides service to the community, networking and social activities for its members, professional development opportunities and an international network of young leaders.

“We actually started organizing last year, so yes, we had to wait a little bit (for the charter),” said Lesley Herrera, a junior from Mesa majoring in Psychology and president of the Benedictine University at Mesa chapter. “We have 23 members, and all of us really enjoy performing community service and working with other people in the community who are helping others.”

There are more than 185,000 members of Rotaract in more than 8,000 clubs worldwide. Each club is sponsored by a local chapter of Rotary International, a global community of committed professionals working together to serve others and advance peace that numbers more than 1.2 million members and 34,000 clubs worldwide.

Rotaract provides Benedictine University at Mesa students excellent opportunities to develop their leadership and organizational skills while providing service to the community.

“The philosophy behind the Rotary family is also very complimentary to the University’s values and Catholic identity,” said Kevin Broeckling, associate vice president for Student Life at Benedictine University at Mesa. “Rotary encourages members to consider the truth, fairness, community and goodwill, and a focus on the greater good … all ideals we commit to at Benedictine University.”

One of Benedictine University at Mesa Rotaract’s first efforts was taking over a local laundromat to ensure children entering the foster care system had clean clothes from which to choose after the washing machines at Helen’s Hope Chest in Mesa broke down. Other projects included packing lunches for local families, writing letters to people living in hospice care, and participating in a Relay for Life event to help fight cancer.

Rotaract members also assist members of the Mesa Rotary Club with their projects and attend some of their weekly meetings.

“The opportunity to network and connect with other people is a big part of Rotaract,” Herrera said. “I went to the eye doctor not long ago, and I thought his name was familiar. When I was leaving, I asked the receptionist if he was a member of Rotary, and she told me he was.”  

For more information about Benedictine University at Mesa, please visit ben.edu/mesa, contact mesa@ben.edu or (602) 888-5533. The University is accepting applications for fall 2015 enrollment.

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Benedictine University at Mesa is a branch campus of Benedictine University, an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago. Founded in 1887, Benedictine is ranked No. 1 among the country’s fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education’s list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among “America’s Top Colleges” for the fourth consecutive year in 2014.

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