Tzu Chi University Students Have Service DNAs, and They Receive a High Portion of Volunteer Service Awards from The Ministry of Education

The Ministry of Education recently announced winners of the 2022 Outstanding Volunteer Service Award and Outstanding Volunteer Service Team Award. This year, thirty individuals and seven teams received the awards. Fifteen Tzu Chi University students and two volunteer teams were among them.

Since its inception in 1994, Tzu Chi University has emphasized humanism and altruism, in addition to instilling skills and knowledge. The University encourages students to attend to the needs of their peers, serve residents living in rural areas, and tutor their children to catch up on school work. Moreover, they spend time with the elderly, help the needy, and accompany residents living near the University’s campuses. The public has high regard for students’ services.

The fifteen Tzu Chi University student winners are Hui-Mei Lin, Yong-Quan Chen, Zi-Chun Zeng, Pei-Qi Su, Liu Yong-Xin, Geng-Hui Gai, Yu-Jie Chen, Yu-Han Zhong, Min-Xuan Li, Yu-Xuan Cai, Zhi-Fang Zhao, Xuan-Yu Hu, Shao-Yu Wang, Yi-Ling Xu, and Xiu-Yan Jian. These students have been committed to service for a long time. Each must have at least two years of continuous service, and total service hours have reached more than 200. Currently, these students keep on serving others enthusiastically.

The University’s Volunteer Team of Serving the Parent-Child Center and the Tzu-Cheng and Yi-Te Association received team awards. The Volunteer Team of Serving the Parent-Child Center focuses on early childhood education, parenting education, and accompanying children and their parents. They inspire parents to pay attention to family education by providing information on parenting, childcare-related skills, and how to interact with their children. 

Tzu-Cheng and Yi-Te Association volunteers play an essential role in the students’ lives. They are senior Tzu Chi volunteers from all walks of life and accompany students during their period of study at the University. These volunteers share manners and ethics with students, counsel students on psychological and emotional needs, and play the roles of caregivers, listeners, and counselors. They also work closely with the students’ academic advisors and Counseling Center to enhance students’ dispositions, etiquette in daily living, and career development. Three teams, the Tzu-Cheng and Yi-Te Association, students’ academic advisors, and the Counseling Center, working together to augment students’ well-being are quite unique in Taiwan.

Yu-Jie Chen, a Department of Child Development and Family Studies student, said participating in service learning is very meaningful. During the process, she learned the importance of teamwork. Moreover, Yu-Jie gained teaching experience and realized her shortcomings. Serving does not just give children someone to accompany them; student volunteers also gain confidence from the children’s smiles and acquire motivation to continue serving others.

During the past three years, Pei-Qi Su, a Child Development and Family Studies student, participated in the Volunteer Team of Saying No to Drugs, the Special Education Volunteer Team, and the Bei-Chang Elementary School Tutoring Team. Pei-Qi realized that service learning is not only about helping others; she learned how to apply professional skills and knowledge in her service. Each service is a valuable experience to enhance her teaching and leadership skills, and so far, it has been the most exciting chapter in her college life.

Yu-Han Zhong, a Child Development and Family Studies student, currently serves as captain of the LEGO Volunteer Team. Since joining the team, under the guidance of senior student volunteers, Yu-Han has been serving at various elementary schools. While attending to the needs of others, Yu-Han found out her value and motivation for service. She hopes to continue her service enthusiastically and pass it on to her younger peers, letting the love sprout and grow in every student’s heart!

In 2019, the Department of Child Development and Family Studies took over management of the Parent-Child Center, which was set up by Hualien County Government. Thus, the Volunteer Team of Serving the Parent-Child Center was founded. The Center provides children under six and their families with a high-quality learning environment. The Center attends to children of different ages, offers family education programs, and makes family games available for parents to play with their children and inspire their children’s creativity. Moreover, the Center provides opportunities for families to attend to the needs of community residents to enhance cultural integration. The Center wishes to enable parents to understand their children more by participating in various activities with them. 

Besides providing indoor activities, student volunteers offer outreach services to enrich the family’s resources. Students put forward various activities, leading children to play board games and read picture books with their parents. It is an essential parent-child family resource in Hualien County.

Tzu Chi University prepares students with professional skills, knowledge, and volunteerism, expecting students to fulfill their responsibilities of serving the public. The University’s Service-Learning Group encourages students to participate in voluntary service, attend fundamental and advanced training, and obtain the Volunteer Service Log Book to log their volunteer hours and fully record their volunteer service trail. The University’s endeavor has everything to do with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #17 (SDG 17): Partnerships for the goals.