The basics: Song Vang, 22, is a senior at Fresno State, double-majoring in linguistics and deaf education. She is president of Amerasia Organization and vice president of Phi Beta Delta Upsilon international honors society.
What she does: In her spare time outside of school and work, Vang has volunteered with the Sierra Foothill Conservancy. She is one of many volunteers who break ground to create trails in the central San Joaquin Valley foothills. Vang also is a Humanics Scholar at Fresno State and a group leader for Alternative Spring Break. She has volunteered with the United Way, the American English Institute, the Jan & Bud Richter Center, and the American Sign Language club.
Why she does it: "There's a need that a lot of us can do and make a change," said Vang, who has been volunteering since her high school days at Clovis East. "My drive is to do the change I want to see."
The turning point: Last year, Vang was a student leader for Alternative Spring Break, a program where students devote their spring break volunteering with a nonprofit chosen by the students, and reached out to the Sierra Foothill Conservancy. She and other Fresno State students began working with the nonprofit on two foothill preserves.
Details, details: The Sierra Foothill Conservancy began in 1996 to provide local, community-based support and management to the McKenzie Table Mountain Preserve and the Mary Elizabeth Miller Preserve at Black Mountain. Volunteers like Vang travel in groups to build new trails and clean up old ones. Vang organizes groups of students and does the dirty work, getting into bushes and shrubs for clean, clear paths for trailgoers.
What others say: "She's more than just talk, she's hands-on," said Rosanna Ruiz, director of education and outreach. "She's the kind of person where in any kind of work, she'll put her passion into it."
How you can help: Anyone wanting to volunteer or donate should contact the Sierra Foothill Conservancy at (559) 855-3473 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Angel Moreno