When Richard Khuu took the job as student manager at Millersville University’s Center for Health Education & Promotion (CHEP), a campus program that facilitates workshops and organizes events to educate students on health concerns, he understood the importance of his position. He oversees peer educators, a group of students who provide education and awareness to other students in areas such as substance use, mental health, nutrition and physical activity, sexual responsibility and healthy relationships and sexual violence.
Khuu, who is a senior graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, is doing what he loves best—helping others. His commitment of time and energy makes a difference in the lives of students who participate in CHEP’s programs. Khuu also has a great deal of energy to spare. In addition to his job with CHEP, he interns at Compass Mark, a Lancaster nonprofit prevention program that works within schools to help area youth.
“Similar to CHEP, Compass Mark workshops are used to teach children and adolescents about substance use and mental health, diversity and gambling prevention,” he Khuu explained. “Compass Mark also organizes several afterschool programs. My role is to facilitate extracurricular activities, assist as a group leader and be a role model.”
The MU student will volunteer at Compass Mark’s annual Riddle Quest, a fundraising scavenger hunt event in downtown Lancaster on Saturday, May 3, that benefits the organization’s Future Generations Youth Leadership. Riddle Quest arms teams with a map, a passport for stamps and 10 riddles. The teams solve riddles that lead them to a series of businesses in downtown Lancaster. At each stop, if the riddle is guessed correctly, teams will receive a stamp in their passports. At the end of the day, the three teams with the most stamps will win prizes.
Khuu is also the treasurer for MU Habitat for Humanity, a student-run initiative that helps build and repair houses for those in need. On spring break, March 15 – 22, Khuu traveled to Meridian, Mississippi with Habitat for Humanity to make repairs in the kitchen and bathroom of an elderly resident. He and other students also painted the outside of the man’s home. Khuu has participated in past spring break initiatives including visits to South Carolina (roofing and paneling a home), North Carolina (building a shed and detailing a home) and New Jersey (helping to clean up following Hurricane Sandy).
As the treasurer of MU’s Helping Paws (MUHP), a program whose mission is to improve the quality of life for homeless and needy animals in the community, Khuu, who has been a member of MUHP for four years, joins the other members of this organization by donating funds and his time to local animal rescues and shelters, such as the Humane League of Lancaster County. Helping Paws holds various fundraisers, such as selling dog and cat treats baked by its members and benefit walks.
One of Khuu’s final student initiatives will take place on April 24 at 9:15 p.m. with MU’s annual Get Up and Glow 5K Walk/Run. Khuu has worked with the MU Senior Class of 2014 to plan the event, which takes place at the SMC Promenade area. Proceeds from the event will be donated to the senior class gift to renovate the outdoor volleyball courts in the South Quad.
“I enjoy being able to participate in so many great opportunities,” said Khuu. “I like getting to connect with people who have similar interests as me and want to help out in the community. Having been a boy scout, I have grown up learning how to give back to my community in any way I can.”