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Volunteer opportunities to build community

Tyler Junior College is home to several student-led organizations that provide opportunities for volunteer work and community service. One of these organizations is Phi Theta Kappa, an honor society.

Hailey Robinette is the chapter president of Alpha Omicron, a chapter of PTK. “All you have to do is show up,” Robinette said. “I know it says honor society, but we’re not limited to who shows up to our meetings or anything like that.” However, to be a member of the honor society, you need a 3.5 GPA and 12 credit hours of college credit classes, but non-member volunteers are still welcome.

PTK recognizes and encourages scholarships among two-year college students. It provides opportunities for members to grow as scholars and leaders, and to serve their communities. At TJC, the PTK chapter hosts a variety of events and weekly meetings throughout the year, including community service projects that provide students with the opportunity to make a positive impact on their community while also earning volunteer hours.

 “We work with ‘Be the Match,’ which is a nonprofit organization that works to build a registry for bone marrow donations for people with leukemia,” Robinette said. “We’ve done ‘Adopt a Highway.’ We’ve worked with ‘Nicholas Pet Haven’ to donate supplies to them. We’ve done food drives before on campus and tons of stuff, just about anything.”

Phi Theta Kappa is an honors organization that has many opportunities for students to volunteer in their communities. PTK members do have certain criteria to follow, and not every student can be a Phi Theta Kappa member. However, all students are invited to volunteer with PTK at their events such as their Adopt-a-Highway cleanups or partnerships with Nicholas Pet Haven. PTK also has students who are willing to sign up for “Be the Match,” an organization that logs volunteers onto a bone marrow registry for leukemia patients to hopefully find a match that can help them. PTK meetings are open to any student, even those who don’t meet the criteria to be a member, such as a GPA of 3.5. PTK meets at 5:10 every Monday in Apache Room 4 of the Rogers Student Center. For more information about Phi Theta Kappa, visit, or find them on OrgSync. Photo by Garrison Nichols

Another way students can get involved in volunteer work is by participating in the blood drive on campus. This event, held in partnership with Carter BloodCare, a blood bank, allows students to donate blood and save lives. The blood drive was held Jan. 27 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Juan Lesser, the Student Life specialist, was one of the many people assisting students and staff to give blood. “The blood drive is basically a 50 gallon challenge. So TJC hosts every year to achieve 50 gallons of donating blood, and you know, it’s a great way for students to just show the community that students care for lives, because for every one person that donates, they can save up to three lives,” Lesser said. 

Unqualified donors are still encouraged to hand out fliers if possible, according to Lesser.

The Baptist Student Ministry also has opportunities for students to get engaged in community service and involved with volunteering. There are no membership requirements and all students are welcome. Reagan Reid, the BSM leader of TJC, helps facilitate student growth. Reid’s goal is to serve the students of TJC through ministry, and to allow students to have a space for conversations, friendship and to learn how to serve others through their faith.

“We do these things in such a way to help equip people for the future. So that if they go to another city, or they go into another culture to live, and they need to be able to learn how to, or I guess, establish something there or be a part of something we’ve hopefully created opportunities for them to not only serve here, but to learn how can you adapt this to another culture,” Reid said. One of BSM’s goals is to set up students in ministry, skill sets, and memories so students can look back and use them for the rest of their life. 

If a student is looking for more volunteer opportunities, contact or visit the Student Life office on campus, the PTK organization, and in your local communities. Serving can take the form of different ways someone can help people or other activities needing volunteers. 

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