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Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week

Andrea D. "Angie" Jasper, Ph.D.

This week is dedicated to you! Each of you who volunteer your time, energy, and expertise. The strength of CEC is based upon volunteers like you and me. And I am so grateful for you and your willingness to serve. Thank you for all that you do! The work you do as a volunteer enables CEC to provide high-quality programs, products, and services.  I hope that you continue to volunteer, and even consider expanding your involvement. We have lots of ways for you to serve.

If you were to ask current CEC volunteers, they will tell you that volunteering allows them to make a broader impact to the field of special education, has allowed them to expand their professional network, or increase their knowledge base. There are many reasons that one might choose to volunteer, but I bet it’s because you find this work meaningful. I often find that individuals get involved in CEC through someone they know inviting them to volunteer in some capacity. I can attest to that based upon my personal experience. If you are reading this and are not already serving, consider this your personal invitation to get involved and serve. Commit to doing some life-changing and life-altering work! It’s meaningful both personally and professionally. 

Back in January, at the conference in Orlando, I talked about my involvement in the units and divisions and how that led to some wonderful friendships. Those friends have helped me through challenges and celebrated my accomplishments. We have shared teaching strategies, engaged in research projects together, and shared countless resources (courtesy of CEC). Volunteering has been very rewarding for me. And I want others to have that experience, too. 

As President-Elect, my priorities focus on sustaining CEC's legacy through local/student chapters and caucuses, and increasing diversity within membership and leadership. I feel very passionately about increasing the number of BIPOC members engaged in leadership positions within CEC at all levels. Representation is important, and we need all voices at the table to ensure we fully meet the mission of CEC. Through supporting local/student chapters, CEC has an opportunity to help grow the profession. We have countless resources and supports to assist teachers at any point in their career, but especially early career teachers (via mentoring, networking, resource sharing). Consequently, we can encourage these individuals to volunteer and serve in their local chapters and onto broader CEC (units, divisions, committees, Board of Directors). The work that individuals do at the local and state or provincial level is integral to CEC. We are very much a team in this work, and we need committed individuals at all levels to accomplish CEC’s mission.

Posted:  18 April, 2022
Author: Andrea D. Jasper, Ph.D.

CEC President  Department of Teacher and Special Education Central Michigan University Mount Pleasant, MI 

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