As a continuation of their “Be the Change Tour”, the Center for Social Impact helped to clean up Encircle House, an LGBTQ+ family and youth resource center, on Friday, Jan. 25.
The center’s “Be the Change Tour” was started this year in an effort to celebrate its 25th anniversary. A different event for the tour is held on the 25th of each month.
“We recently changed our name from the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center to the Center for Social Impact. Something that was important to us in celebrating the 25 years was focusing on social issues that could really make the biggest impact,” said Kendyll Maughan, student coordinator for the tour. “We chose different issues based off different situations that are happening here in Utah County, especially things that are affecting people at UVU.”
According to Amber Hendrickson, a coordinator for the center, the “Be the Change Tour” has three focal points to exemplify and support the goals of the organization.
“Since our mission is to drive social impact by connecting students and community, we have three different areas of focus for how we’re celebrating 25 years, which is faculty, students and community,” said Hendrickson. “This was the first [event] of the semester. Our focus was on the LGBTQ+ community.”
Established in 2017, Encircle House was created with the mission “to embrace and sustain every LGBTQ+ youth, every family and every community.” Encircle House provides a wide range of services, including counseling sessions, friendship circles, art therapy sessions and a variety of other support programs.
According to Devin Preston, a volunteer at Encircle House, both the physical and human resources provided to the youth at the center are life-saving.
“A lot of youth that come here are suicidal or really depressed or going through a lot of really intense changes,” said Preston. “While we do provide therapy for them, usually their first point of contact is our crisis coordinator, Jasmine Fullmer. She has saved countless lives.”
Encircle House also hosts events such as guest speakers, storytelling nights and music nights for the youth regularly.
The next event for the “Be the Change Tour” will be held on Feb. 25. The CSI will be giving back to the community through a refugee resettlement project.