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FSU Tag Line
ECHOSTARS go above and beyond to meet need

By Rose Gause
Mass Communication '20
Social Marketing Team writer

The Empowering Communities - Helping Others - Service Through Action, Resources, & Sustainability (ECHOSTARS) A STAR! in the Western Maryland AmeriCorps program is dedicated to assisting communities throughout Western Maryland. Frostburg State University students participating in the ECHOSTARS program serve as youth mentors and companions for multiple sites in the area. ECHOSTARS are required to have completed a minimum of 300 service hours by the end of each academic school year and as of November 1, they should have at least 90 of those hours completed. However, some ECHOSTARS are going above and beyond and exceeding the required number of service hours than in the past years. Currently, for this academic school year over 5,000 hours have already been completed by the ECHOSTARS.  

“It helps to show that our students are dedicated to their service sites and they understand that when they commit to something they need to stick to it. For the program, it means that I’m more confident in saying we will be somewhere if I know my students are going to not just sign up, but also attend. We have community recognition, the more we are out there, the more the community sees us,” says Ashley Daniels, National Service Coordinator for A STAR! In Western Maryland AmeriCorps program.   

Maya WallaceMaya Wallace, ECHOSTARS team leader, second-year member
Sophomore, early elementary childhood education major 

Wallace serves with the fifth grade at John Humbird Elementary School After Program by assisting teachers with lessons and helping students with homework three days a week. She also does special projects with the HOPE station, the Allegany County Animal Shelter, and the 4-H Haunted House.  On each bi-weekly time sheet, she completes 35-40 hours and so far this semester has a total of 163 hours.  

“I love to serve! During the middle of my first year, I realized that kids, the organization, and community that I help make a huge impact on me. The people you meet, the friends you make, the lifelong memories you get, make it all worth it,” says Wallace. 

Symone CoatesSymone Coates, ECHOSTARS first-year member
Freshman, mass communication major 

Coates has served 147.75 hours at the Allegany County Animal Shelter helping with the socialization of animals and assisting with daily routines. She explains that she maintains this number of hours by staying on top of her school work which allows her to sign up for special projects on the weekend. She also constantly checks Bobcat Connect for upcoming projects.  ''

“…when I have nothing to do, I feel like I’m not doing enough or that I’m falling behind, so because of this thought process I get a lot of hours completed,” says Coates,

Stephanie OduroStephanie Oduro, RisingSTAR, third-year member
Junior, pre-nursing major

Elementary School by helping students with homework and engaging with them in fun activities. So far she has 48.5 hours approved and 106 hours pending for a total of 154.5 hours. This semester she was determined to complete a large number of hours. She has signed up for 1 to 2 projects a week and she attends Academic Series Workshops from which she receives hours along with beneficial information.  

“I know that people in the community need people to help them and I'm happy to be one of them. As a full-time student completing 300 hours can be really hard and stressful but with time management it is very possible.?With all my free time, why not use it for community service and give back,” says Oduro. 

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