Shelby Yates, a sophomore at the University of Northern Iowa, is a strong leader that is leaving a lasting impact on campus and across the Cedar Valley. For the past two years Shelby has been involved and engaged in her classes and with volunteer and service activities working to make an impact on the root cause of social issues in the Cedar Valley. Shelby has been an active member of the Service and Leadership Council on campus as the Executive Director of the Days of Service Committee. Through her work with this committee Shelby has spent countless hours working to provide days of service volunteer opportunities for students that worked to address prominent social issues. In particular, Shelby has made an impact with her work for Make a Difference Day and MLK Day of Service. Shelby organized a roadside clean-up event for Make a Difference Day in partnership with the Volunteer Center of the Cedar Valley, Green Iowa AmeriCorps and the City of Cedar Falls resulting in approximately 115 volunteers and greatly exceeding the participation goal, almost doubling it from the year before. Second, Shelby organized an MLK Day of Service with nearly 300 students, faculty, and community volunteers packing food for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.
I have always been passionate about making a difference and serving my community! I will complete 500 hours of community service before graduating and one of the many ways I accomplish this is through the Service and Leadership Council. As Executive Director for the Days of Service committee, I provide hundreds of volunteers with large-scale service opportunities. Whether it be through roadside clean-up, packaging 25,000 meals for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, or building partnerships with various local organizations for our upcoming National Volunteer Week, it's no wonder I love what I do! I have been given the opportunity to make a community I love even more beautiful, combat hunger in sixteen counties across Iowa, build a picnic table with Habitat for Humanity, jump rope with kids at the Boys and Girls Club, make crafts with the elderly, paint a shelter, and much more! I cannot help but constantly want to give back to this amazing community and I am passionate about engaging others in doing the same! Through various service engagements, I am constantly reminded of the good work already being done in my community, and share in the hope for an even better tomorrow!