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Michelle Sarahang smiles wearing her graduation regalia.

UNC Student Goes Behind the Scenes with Bears Give Back

Participating in the Bears Give Back scavenger hunt gives recent graduate insight into how much support UNC and its students receive from their community.

In January 2023, Michelle Sarahang, ’24, arrived on the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) campus from Simi Valley, California ready to embark on the final year and a half of her degree in Speech Pathology.  

When she came to UNC, she applied for a position as a student advancement ambassador. Working in advancement, she regularly engages with UNC's alumni and donors, and assists with university and alumni events, fundraising programs and marketing and communications initiatives. 

This year, Sarahang oversaw the Bears Give Back student scavenger hunt. Sarahang went all over campus hiding small stuffed teddy bears in highly trafficked, but not obvious, locations for students to find during the April 11 day of giving. When a student found a bear, they would scan the attached QR code to donate $100 generously provided by an anonymous donor to a participating fund of their choice. 

“I loved seeing who found which bears and where they donated to. I saw that Hannah, who is also in the Speech Pathology program and works in Advancement as well, donated to the Center for Women’s and Gender Equity fund,” said Sarahang. 

While Sarahang enjoyed seeing the different funds her fellow students contributed to, it was eye-opening for her to see how much support UNC students received from alumni and community members. With more than $93,000 raised during the 24-hour event, it was an incredible display of the support our students, faculty and programs receive from fellow Bears and friends far and wide. 

“I love to see the community come together and help such a big part of Greeley. We are a Bear town, so it’s great to see everybody come together to help our school, and [to see] the students so engaged looking for the Bears," said Sarahang. 

As Sarahang graduated this spring, she is excited to come back in the fall and pursue a master’s degree in Speech Pathology. UNC’s outstanding, hands-on program and professors made Sarahang’s decision to return to UNC and become a double Bear easy. Now, the outpouring of support she has seen from the community during UNC’s annual day of giving makes her even more sure that her decision to return was the right one. 

The collective support and generosity displayed during Bears Give Back makes a noticeable difference in the programs and services across campus, and also on the students who see that themselves and their education matter to their community. Thank you to everyone who made donations during Bears Give Back, who have made donations any other day of the year, and who show their support through devoting their time and dedication to UNC. Our work is not possible without you. 

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