SLFP connects students with Yoopers United, volunteer opportunities


Dreyma Beronja/NW

LEADERSHIP—NMU’s Student Leader Fellowship Program, office located in the Northern Center, is committed to developing competent, ethical and community-centered leaders.

Ayanna Allen, Staff Writer

The Student Leader Fellowship Program will be hosting one of their many Skill Builders today with speaker Madeline Voltz who will cover the local volunteer platform, Yoopers United, and how to use it to get in touch with volunteering opportunities in Marquette. 

According to their website, SLFP is a two-year program that is nationally recognized for developing competent, ethical and community-centered leaders. Students that join this program are assigned a mentor, go to a retreat, take leadership classes and go through a rigorous workshop series. 

Part of this semester’s workshop series includes speaker Madeline Voltz, senior psychology major, and her skill builder “Getting Involved With Yoopers United.”

Yoopers United, according to their website, is a volunteer program that makes it easier to get in touch with organizations within the area that match one’s availability. 

“Students look for volunteer opportunities for a variety of reasons, whether that be a volunteer organization like Superior Edge, in efforts to build resumes and CVs or to just get out into the community,” Voltz said. “Yoopers United is the perfect platform because there are so many opportunities in one place.”

Jakob Lippert, leadership programs coordinator for SLFP, said that students that are a part of SLFP are required to attend 15 skill builders over the course of two years in order to graduate from the program. While these programs are designed for members of the SLFP, they are open to any students. 

“We look at them as a cool opportunity for people to share interesting skills and involvement opportunities, while also helping attendees develop their own leadership attributes,” Lippert said. 

While “Getting Involved With Yoopers United” will be virtual, not all skill builders SLFP puts on are. 

“We always give the presenter their choice of format, and we’ve got a pretty good mix, especially this semester. I like offering online workshops because it gives students who are still uncomfortable with in-person activities the opportunity to attend sessions,” Lippert said. “We were unable to do in-person sessions in January because of the omicron surge, and I’m happy that we are once again able to do workshops face to face.” 

Despite most members of SLFP only experiencing their membership during the pandemic, many still value the experiences it has provided. For Faith King, senior social media design management major, she said the workshops allow her to learn subjects and topics she has little or no experience in.

“From an outdoor program on Leave No Trace to an event on Grant Writing by the EcoReps, these ‘Skill Builders!’ have introduced me to the importance of becoming involved in various aspects of a community,” King said. “As a leader, I believe that learning about the diverse interests of your community is imperative in creating an empathetic and respectful environment.”

Those who have at least two years left at NMU and are interested in SLFP are encouraged to sign-up for one’s application here before Feb. 11 at 5 p.m. To stay updated on when the next Skill Builders are, access the Hub.