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California State University, Long Beach
NACS National Student Day recognizes Ben Davidson
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NACS National Student Day recognizes Ben Davidson

Post Date: December 18, 2012

October 4, 2012 was the second annual National Student Day, sponsored by NACS, the National Association of College Stores. The Forty-Niner Shops, Inc. participated in the nationwide celebration as an affiliate of NACS. Students across the country submitted stories of how they contribute to their communities through volunteering. Several stories are shared in this issue of Beach Breeze, but a special recognition goes to the Shops’ Ben Davidson of the University Art Store as his story was highlighted on the National Student Day website here.

Thank you to everyone who submitted stories, and if you’re interested in volunteering in your communities, let us know!

Where do you volunteer?

I am a part of the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity and what makes us so unique is that we own and operate our own philanthropy organization, Push America. It is a non-profit organization that works to raise funds and awareness for people with developmental and physical disabilities. The event I participated in is “Journey of Hope” – it’s a bike trek from the West Coast to East Coast, all for people with disabilities.

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because I believe in giving back to the community. I dedicated my summer to raising money and spreading awareness of this cause by participating in a yearly bike trek from Long Beach to Washington D.C. Every time we arrived into a city, it was amazing to see the smiles on the kid’s faces as they watched us riding in.

How it has changed/impacted your life?

People with disabilities have abilities that far outshine the disability. One thing we like to say at Pi Kappa Phi is “they’re people first” meaning that even though they have a disability, they are a person none the less. They have amazing abilities that most people overlook when they see a person with a disability. I feel very inspired by them. I recall a time when it was 110 degrees during our ride and I wanted to quit, I thought about what someone with a disability is going through and realized they can’t simply put down their disability and call it quits, so I just can’t stop.

How has your volunteering impacted the community/organization you serve?

This year was the 25th Anniversary of the ride. It has shown in some of our friendship visits along the way that we impact many people’s lives. For some people, this is the event they wait for year round to take place. The experience is of immense happiness. Just knowing I can make that difference in someone’s life is incredible.