TAMUC First-Year Leadership Class Raises Money for Local Animal Shelter

Students in the First-Year Leadership Class (FLC) at Texas A&M University-Commerce put in many hours of hard work planning and executing a fundraising campaign to benefit the Commerce Animal Shelter.

The FLC is a credited, two-semester course available to first-year students at A&M-Commerce, with the aim of equipping students with the education and personal leadership skills necessary to become leaders throughout their higher education experience and beyond. Students must complete an essay, provide a letter of recommendation, and meet certain educational achievement marks such as a minimum GPA and high school class rank to join the class.

Students who are accepted into the class receive a total of $4,000 in scholarship funding for the entire year if they remain in good academic standing.

One of the main assignments for each year's leadership class is to create and execute a service project benefitting either the local or campus community. For this year's service project, the eight students in the 2021-22 FLC decided to raise money for the Commerce Animal Shelter by hosting a charity volleyball tournament.

The students were tasked with seeing the project through to completion from the ground up, securing the partnership with the animal shelter, reserving space for the tournament, advertising the project and more. In total, the students raised $220 for the animal shelter.

Harmony Rutherford is a student in the FLC. The freshman music major from Tioga, Texas, said that leadership class and its associated projects have been a great experience for her.

“I was really surprised how much there was to learn about leadership skills and how to coordinate and plan events like these,” Rutherford said. “I definitely encourage high school students interested in attending A&M-Commerce to apply for this course. You will learn so much.”

Sierra Jones, assistant director of First-Year Initiatives at A&M-Commerce, had high praise for the efforts undertaken by the FLC student this year.

“It is inspiring to see this group of students, most of them strangers before this course, come together to impact the community in a way that highlights their passions,” Jones said. “Along the way, they learned more about themselves and the roles that they play in their own communities as current and future leaders.”

In total, the eight FLC students amassed 320 community service hours this academic year.

Learn more about the First-Year Leadership Class.