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Student groups really made a difference recent grad says

Student groups “really made a difference,” recent grad says

They helped him feel connected to the campus from the first time he stepped on campus.

Posted: mié, sep 14, 2016

A few years ago, Evan Dexter was a junior in high school in Grand Island who had no clue where he wanted to go to college, until he went on a tour of the UNL campus. The tour was led by University Ambassadors – UNL students just a few years older than he was who made him feel welcome.

They made him feel connected to the campus.

They made the choice easy.

“The University Ambassadors were one of the driving forces behind why I chose UNL,” said Dexter, who graduated this past spring from UNL with a major in marketing. University Ambassadors are students who volunteer to be the face of UNL to people who visit campus and help with recruitment.

“The organization’s purpose,” he said, “is what really made a difference to me.”

During Dexter’s first semester at UNL, he joined the University Ambassadors. He later became its homecoming chair. He joined the group because he wanted to give back by helping to welcome high school students to campus.

“I knew immediately that I wanted to join that (group) when I came here, and I loved it.”

He experienced a lot at UNL beyond the classroom. He joined the Scarlet Guard, the official student alumni association that provides students with opportunities and connections. He joined the collegiate chapter of American Marketing Association and was involved in College Republicans. He worked as an instructional assistant at the College of Business Administration Career Services. He worked at the University Outdoor Adventure Center.

Just being a part of something, he said, was a big part of his education. Through those groups, he met his best friends and made connections that led to job opportunities.

Scholarships also led to opportunities.

Dexter was a Pepsi Scholar, an honor that’s awarded to students based on their community service and leadership, as well as a Nebraska Achievement Scholar, which goes to students who show academic achievement in high school.

“More than anything, the scholarships offered me opportunities to involve myself on campus and meet new people. I would attend everything I possibly could fit in my schedule.”

Dexter is excited to now be an alumnus of the university. He thanks everyone who has donated or given any support to the students or university.

“I’ve reached that huge milestone and I’m excited to be a contributing member of society,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m closing this huge chapter in my life. It’s a title (to be a UNL alumnus) that many get to carry, but not everyone has the honor.

“And I’m proud to bleed Husker Red.”

Dexter is an intern at the University of Nebraska Foundation, which raises money for programs and scholarships for students like him. He works in the Planned Giving Department and hopes to join the nonprofit world someday soon, once he gets his first full-time job out of college. He’s applied to jobs all over the country in any industry because he wants to keep his sights broad and doesn’t want to miss out on opportunities.

He wants a career in which he can give back.

“My dream would be to have my very own nonprofit organization or foundation,” he said. “I’ve always had a deep desire to give back as well. I get that from my parents. It’s important to better yourself, but it’s just as important to give others the opportunity to do the same.”

Evan Dexter is just one example of how the University of Nebraska’s “Our Students, Our Future” fundraising initiative will help make better futures for us all. The two-year, $200 million initiative runs through 2017. If you would like to help promising students like her, please contact the University of Nebraska Foundation at 800-432-3216.

This story was written by foundation intern Jennifer Rooney, who is studying journalism and English at UNL.

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