Part 1 by Lien Do
I had the opportunity to volunteer at SPARK! SPARK!, which is a local art festival held by the Mesa Art Center. There were some really unique stations I got to work at, and I met a lot of interesting people. Shrinky Dinks were crazy fun, and the Water Art Graffiti was probably the coolest thing I ever seen. At the Shrinky Dinks station, people were able to make any design they wanted on a special paper that shrinks when it is heated up in the oven. All the pieces were made in to fish that are on display outside of the Mesa Art Center. At the Water Art Graffiti station, the large LED panels were activated by water, and you could make any design on the panels. While I was there, I got to explore my inner child – who said volunteering couldn’t be fun?!
A few members of the Wilkes faculty took us to Sedona and went on a hike with us. Other than my phone screen cracking and walking into a cactus, the trip was amazing! Who knew rocks could look so cool? We hiked up Cathedral Rock, and Dr. Alves, Dr. Rexer, and Dr.Edmonds were great hikers! I think they’re in better shape than I am. Dr. Rexer even pulled out some yoga moves while we were standing on a slanted platform! I couldn’t even stand, let alone do yoga. Once we got to the top of Cathedral Rock, the view was breathtaking no matter where you were standing.
After our hike in Sedona, we drove up to Jerome, Arizona. Jerome is an old mining (ghost) town that’s built vertically on a mountain. You were able to get a full view of the Sedona red rocks while you were in Jerome.
One of the goals on my Arizona bucket list was to go to California since it’s only five hours away. Over Easter Break, Marc Perry and I went on a spontaneous trip to San Diego and Los Angeles. Five hour car ride with Marc… but it wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Although the drive was long, it was definitely worth it. San Diego was all I expected and more, the beach and weather were fantastic. Everyone had Ferraris and Lamborghinis, but I obviously left mine back in Pennsylvania. After spending two days there, I’m surprised we were able to drag ourselves away from the beaches long enough to drive home.
Since the semester is almost over, De’Von, Megan, Marc and I have been soaking up the sun every Friday after work. If you haven’t been jealous yet, you should be now. We’re basically on vacation; sitting by the pool and getting our tan on. This is the life!
Tips from Lien:
1. Don’t walk into a cactus
2. Get a selfie stick (make sure your phone is stable on it so you don’t drop your phone).
3. Make a trip out to California if you can.
4. Get in shape so you can keep up with the professors on hikes.
Part 2 by De’Von Moore
Being in Arizona gave me an opportunity to work at the Pot of Gold Music Festival, a four-day celebration of music and food sponsored by Lucky Man Concerts in March. The Wilkes Marketing Coordinator, Jen Atkins, told us (SiMesa students) that they were looking for volunteers to sell merchandise for the concert, and we jumped at it. We spent the entire day Saturday selling t-shirts and posters, watching the acts, and enjoying the weather at Tempe Beach Park. It was a great opportunity, as I met some pretty cool and interesting people, and got to see a free concert.
There were about 30 musical acts, from different genres, performing on two different stages. Some of the headliners were Kendrick Lamar (my favorite because I only listen to his music), Fall Out Boy, Korn and Bastille. The only way the festival could have been better is if the Queen Bey herself (Beyoncé) performed.
Tips by De’Von for an Arizona music festival
1. Drink Water
2. Bring lunch (if working)
3. Bring Cash (avoid ATM fees)
4. Wear sunblock
Part 3 by Megan Powers
Since I am an accounting major, I was given the opportunity to do VITA while here in Mesa. VITA stands for “Volunteer Income Tax Assistance”, and is a program where people can come and get their tax return done for free. It was a volunteering opportunity in which myself and Dr. Marianne Rexer spent a few hours on Monday nights at the local Salvation Army completing the returns for people. I would highly recommend to any accounting major that they get involved in VITA if possible, it gave me a chance to work with tax software, and experience a real life aspect of my major.