Berkeley Homeless Ministry: An Opportunity for PUC Students to Get Involved

By Andrew Mahinay

Pacific Union College holds countless opportunities for students to serve others on or off campus, including building homes for individuals who lost their homes during the Valley Fire in nearby Pope Valley, food drives, and feeding the homeless in the cities of Berkeley and Clearlake. The long list of service opportunities continues.

I am currently a senior, majoring in English, and will be graduating in 2017. As a freshman, I made it my goal to get involved with campus ministries. Being a part of service opportunities on campus is not a requirement, but it is a great way to strengthen your network and connect with other students on campus, while at the same time bettering yourself as a person.

It was three years ago–during my freshman year–that I chose to attend my first outreach ministry in the city of Berkeley. The service program requires all students who want to attend this ministry meet at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning. After having a long tedious week of schoolwork, I struggled with waking up at this time. All I wanted to do was catch up on my sleep. However, I am glad I chose to get out of bed because Berkeley Homeless Ministry became a defining aspect of my life that helped shape me into the responsible, social, and patient person I am today.

Berkeley Homeless Ministry is a simple program which has such a profound effect on the lives of the homeless. A group of PUC students drive to People’s Park, located two minutes away from the University of Berkeley. Once there, students begin organizing the food that will be served. As soon as the homeless begin to see students setting up food, they begin to fall in line. A blessing is said over the food, and the students begin to serve the food, and sing and converse with the homeless. The goal of Berkeley Homeless Ministry is to share the love of Christ through fellowship and the distributing of food. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” (Matthew 25:35)

My first time serving the homeless of People’s Park was quite intimidating. I was comfortable with socializing with fellow friends, classmates, and acquaintances, but interacting with homeless people was quite different. We did not have any similar interests in common nor did we have similar experiences to converse about. Nonetheless, as I continued to attend the Berkeley Homeless Ministry, I learned having similar interests and experiences were not a big deal. Throughout my time fellowshipping with the homeless, I learned the most important trait to have is a patient heart and a willingness to listen.

It is the hope of Berkeley Homeless Ministry to continue making a loving impact on the lives of the homeless. A man by the name of John came up to the group of students one Saturday, and said, “Thank you for all you do, you guys are amazing, God bless you.”

Photo courtesy of Andrew Mahinay

Photo courtesy of Andrew Mahinay

15 Scholarships to Apply for This Fall

Don’t let Cash Cat steal your college cash!

Don’t let Cash Cat steal your college cash!

(via Cash Cat)

High school juniors and seniors, if you haven’t already started your college scholarship search, the time is now! Below are 15 unique scholarships with application deadlines within the next three months, based on things such as leadership experience, artistic abilities, volunteer service, athletic performance, and more. Even if you don’t have an amazing GPA, don’t be discouraged–there are plenty of scholarships you may be eligible for!

Also, be sure to check out PUC’s scholarships, many of which are due March 2, 2017!

1. The Coca-Cola Scholars Program Scholarship
Deadline: November 15, 2016
Award amount: $20,000

This scholarship is given in recognition of students for their capacity to lead and serve, as well as their commitment to making a significant impact on their schools and communities. The scholarship is awarded to 150 winners each year.

2. The Youth Noise Scholarship Program
Deadline: November 21, 2016
Award amount: $1,000

For this scholarship, students can create a 2-5 minute video explaining how new ideas can shape the world and why education is the key to helping create a brighter future.

3. Unigo’s Education Matters Scholarship
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Award amount: $5,000

These days, there’s a lot in the news about whether or not college is worth it. Spoiler alert: It is. This scholarship asks students to write a short essay in response to the question of “What would you say to someone who thinks education doesn’t matter, or that college is a waste of time and money?”

4. The Sallie Mae $5,000 Plan for College Sweepstakes 
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Award amount: $5,000

This random drawing selects one winner, chosen December 1, 2016.

5. Niche.com “No Essay” College Scholarship
Deadline: November 30, 2016
Award amount: $2,000

This random drawing selects one scholarship winner per month.

6. The Look Twice, Save a Life Scholarship
Deadline: December 1, 2016
Award amount: $1,000

This is a great scholarship for any student with a motorcycle-driving parent or other relative! Put together a video, essay, or artwork encouraging other students to look twice for motorcycles when behind the wheel.

7. Cards Against Humanity’s Science Ambassador Scholarship
Deadline: December 11, 2016
Award amount: 100% tuition

Funded by Cards Against Humanity, this scholarship is open to women seeking an undergraduate degree in a STEM field (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). You must submit a three minute video explaining a scientific topic you’re passionate about.

8. The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes Scholarship
Deadline: December 16, 2016
Award amount: $25,000

The Foot Locker Scholar Athletes program awards student athletes who have demonstrated excellence not just on their team, but also in school and in their community. Twenty winners are chosen to receive the scholarship; the grand prize is $25,000 while the remaining awards are $20,000.

9. The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $1,750

The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative Scholarship is open to students interested in the environment and conservation. To apply, you need to conduct an environmental stewardship project, and write an essay about the project that includes photos.

10. DoSomething.org’s Senior Story Swap Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $5,000

This scholarship encourages students to go out into their community and connect with older adults. Sign up to receive facts on isolation among older Americans and tips on how to have the best one-on-one interaction possible to be entered into the scholarship contest.

11. The Fountain Essay Contest 2016
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $1,000

Offered by the Fountain Magazine, this contest asks students to write a 1,500-2,500 word essay on the issues facing today’s immigrants.

12. The MoolahSPOT $1,000 Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $1,000

Presented by MoolahSPOT.com, this essay contest asks you to respond to one of the following questions, in 400 words or less:

  • Why do you deserve to win this scholarship?
  • What is your academic or career goal?
  • Describe what is most important to you and why
  • Or, you can write an essay on any topic of your choice

13. Unigo’s Top Ten List Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $1,500

A relatively simple scholarship, this one asks students to write 10 reasons why you should win the scholarship, in 250 words or less.

14. Unigo’s $10k Scholarship
Deadline: December 31, 2016
Award amount: $10,000

Another short essay contest, students must respond to the question of “Is college worth it for you?” in only 250 words or less.

15. The GE-Reagan Foundation Scholarship Program
Deadline: January 5, 2017
Award amount: $40,000

This prestigious scholarship is given in honor of our nation’s 40th president to students who demonstrate exemplary leadership, drive, integrity, and citizenship at school, at work, and within their local community.

Editor’s note: The information provided on this post is for informational purposes only. Pacific Union College makes no claims regarding the accuracy, currentness, or validity of the information provided here and will not be liable for any errors.