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Rebels Give Back: Aldrich Sinampaga

Business major Aldrich Sinampaga explains what it means to "rescue" food and how working with a nonprofit opened his eyes to new career opportunities.

People  |  Feb 28, 2013  |  By Tony Allen

UNLV Engelstad Scholar Aldrich Sinampaga. (R. Marsh Starks) / UNLV Photo Services)

Editor's Note: 

This is the third in a series profiling UNLV’s Engelstad Scholars. For this group of scholarship recipients, lectures and labs are only part of their college experience. They are stepping out of the classroom and into the community to gain insight firsthand into the area’s social issues. 


Aldrich Sinampaga

Major: Business Management
High School: Western High School (Las Vegas)
Engelstad Scholar Partner: Three Square

Has working with Three Square changed your original career plan?
When I started college, I did not have any idea what kind of business I would like to start or what "dream company" I would like to work for. That's where Three Square comes in. Working with Three Square gave me an idea of what I can do after college. I can see myself working with just not a private, Fortune 500 company, but also with a nonprofit organization. I see the value and the meaning of the work they do. I saw in the people I work with at Three Square that this is not just their job. They love what they do, and enjoy how their work affects people outside the organization.

What has been your favorite experience with Three Square?
I went with a Three Square truck driver to learn about the Food Rescue Program. Three Square drivers leave the lot at 6 a.m. and go to the grocery stores to "rescue" food. They collect the food items that the store cannot sell anymore but are still good for consumption.

Going around Las Vegas collecting and carrying food items is not an easy task, but the reward comes when you deliver the items. When we got to the agency site, there were a lot of people already in line who probably have been waiting there for hours. When you see those people smile as they see the Three Square truck arriving is just an amazing experience. It feels like all the tiredness from waking up early and helping out in carrying boxes or carts just goes away all of a sudden. Delivering that food, I know they will have something to put on the table at the end of day.

What's one thing you learned that you didn't expect to?
Three Square is Southern Nevada's only food bank. They are part of the Las Vegas community; they collect and distribute, work with volunteers and with agency partners who then help more people. It is communal. It will achieve its mission and help many people if we work together and be part of the process. If I can encourage someone to donate money or food, or volunteer, I am doing my part.

The experience encouraged me to never forget to look back on who has helped me and how I got there. When I finish college and achieve my career goals, giving back is what I will do.

Related Link: Learn more about Three Square

About the Engelstad Scholars Program

The Engelstad Family Foundation pledged more than $12 million in 2009 to create the Engelstad Scholars program. It funds full scholarships for select undergraduate students who meet academic and financial-need criteria and who perform 100 hours of community service each year. The program is the largest scholarship endowment pledge in the university's history.

Kris Engelstad McGarry, trustee of the Engelstad Family Foundation, describes the scholarship as both an investment in the community and a testament to the generosity of those who came before.

"My father was a scholarship recipient -- someone else's generosity enabled him to attend college and gave him a head start in life," she said during the program's announcement. "Now, in his honor, our family has the opportunity to continue that tradition by 'paying it forward.' Students will learn the importance of giving back and having an impact in the community."

Students receive $5,000 each year for up to four years, allowing them to focus more on school rather than work. They also connect with such community agencies as the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, Boys & Girls Club, Goodie Two Shoes, Opportunity Village and Three Square.