Pay it Forward Person of the Week 3/16/2012: Corey Oostveen

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Pay it Forward Person of the Week 3/16/2012: Corey Oostveen

Mar 16, 2012 — GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Valley State Senior is wearing a lot of different hats to give back to the community: full-time student, worker and full-time volunteer.

Corey Oostveen prides himself on volunteering more than 200 hours every year, despite a hectic schedule.

“I’d be lying… if I didn’t say I wasn’t stressed out at times, but it’s stuff I enjoy and it’s stuff that I love,” Oostveen told FOX 17 News. “So, I don’t even see it as much of a choice for me to make.” Oostveen spends between 10-15 hours a week as a volunteer coach with the community non-profit Code Red Robotics. The 22-year-old helps to mentor and teach kids ranging from elementary to high school age on how to build robots and get hands-on engineering experience.

“I’ve learned a lot from Corey, he’s the best teacher, and coach I’ve had for robotcs yet I think,” said eight-grader Michael Spoehr, who participates in the program. “He’s really helpful, he gives us a lot of good tips and guidance, on how we can do things better.” Oostveen also steps away from campus to pay it forward in other ways. He’s active in Relay for Life as his mother is a breast cancer survior. He also spent about a year and a half growing out his hair to donate to the organization Children With Hairloss.

How does he manage to make all his community service fit into his schedule? The GVSU student says he just sleeps less.

“That’s the main thing that I want to focus my energy on is giving back,” he explained. Even if it’s just an hour a week, I can still donate. Every little bit you can give back helps so much.” Oostveen graduates at the end of the year and plans to pursue a job in sales or engineering. He adds that he definitely plans to keep volunteering.