A student organization at University of the Cumberlands (UC) raised more than $500 for children in need while making strides to serve the greater community and build recognition for the physician assistant profession.

The UC Academy of Physician Assistants (UCAPA), established in the spring of 2017, aims to provide structure and support for students in UC’s physician assistant (PA) program. Through organized activities and networking opportunities, as well as community involvement projects, the organization is working to get students involved and giving back.

“I think that student organizations definitely help people get engaged,” said Ben Loschky, a student in the program from Indianapolis and UCAPA’s president. “It’s easy to just be a student and to only focus on yourself, but as a community, we need to be in the habit of pulling our resources together, networking, and growing with one another. Our society helps with that among our students.”

Since forming UCAPA, the organization has worked to serve the people of Whitley County. In July, students hosted a bake sale outside the Williamsburg Walmart that raised $520 for the Backpack Program, which works with the Family Resource/Youth Service Center at Williamsburg Independent School to ensure children do not go hungry over the weekend. The funds raised by the bake sale will allow UCAPA to continue its commitment to delivering 10 bags of food to the school per week.

“The UCAPA allows our students early opportunities in their training to become servant leaders to their communities,” said Dana Campbell, Director of UC’s PA program and UCAPA’s faculty advisor. “Through their work with UCAPA, our PA students will likely continue their commitment to serving others after graduation, making them exceptional, well-rounded medical providers who have a positive impact on both their patients and communities.”

UCAPA plans to continue hosting fundraisers throughout the year, including a marathon around Halloween – the 2017 CumBOOland UCAPA 5K – that will donate 25% of its proceeds to a local charity. More information about the 5K will be shared as it becomes available.

Located in Williamsburg, Kentucky, University of the Cumberlands is an institution of regional distinction offering quality undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and online degree programs.