Recognition for journalist Ruben Salazar is long overdue in his home town

EL PASO – Before taking a Chicano Studies class this semester, my knowledge of Ruben Salazar was pretty weak. I think most residents of El Paso are also uninformed about the success of the legendary Mexican-American journalist who was killed inside a bar in East Los Angeles during a Chicano anti-war demonstration in 1970.Should the city of El Paso be blamed for this lack of historical information about the prominent journalist, who was born in Ciudad Juárez and raised in El Paso?Why haven’t our city fathers taken time to recognize this ground-breaking native son who became a national and international correspondent for one of the nation’s most prestigious newspapers? Why aren’t any parks, public schools or other public spaces named after Salazar or other prominent El Pasoans? Here are a few others:
Marcelino Serna, immigrated to El Paso illegally in 1916 at age 20, became a decorated solider during the first World War. Another nationally recognized figure, Sandra Day O’Connor, was born in El Paso and graduated from Austin High School.

Volunteering finds its way from the classroom into the community

EL PASO — The concept of volunteer work is evolving rapidly within higher education as a relatively new idea called service learning, which transforms book learning into hands-on work in the community. According to Campus Compact, a national coalition of public and community service organizations, 44 per cent of college students participated in some form of volunteer work during the 2011-2012 academic year, an estimated $9.7 billion worth of service to their communities. Hector Garza, a junior studying political science at the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas, describes service learning as early career training for a college student. He explained that “service learning actually gives you the opportunity take it to the community and actually see what you are learning and how it comes to life.”

Service learning takes place worldwide impacting millions of students and communities. This past April, 1, 400 high school students, college professors, teachers, and non profit representatives from the U.S. and other countries gathered at the 26th Annual Service Learning Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Monumental Conference, as it was named, offered many 90-minute workshops to sharpen and educate attendees about service learning with tools, resources, and ideas to better serve their communities.