"I never saw my full potential until I volunteered at the Seahawk Marketplace." - Queennie Jimenez

by Swami Hinojosa, Broward College student journalist

In a world that often seems too fast-paced and individualistic, volunteering inspires hope and community connection. At Broward College, all community members, including faculty, staff, and students, are eligible to utilize – and volunteer at – the Seahawk Marketplace, a student-run food pantry program.

Seahawk Marketplace operates on three Broward College campuses: A. Hugh Adams Central Campus, South Campus, and North Campus, to help students who are experiencing food insecurity by offering free food and personal hygiene items. To access the marketplace, students must be enrolled or have been enrolled in the previous semester and can visit once a week. The aim is clear: to aid in alleviating the barriers to food security in both the short and long term.

With the help of volunteers, Seahawk Marketplace strives to remove the burden of financial stress and create an environment where everyone can prosper. Making a significant impact as a volunteer requires personal investment and a willingness to engage in positive activities that uplift the spirits of those in need.

The Seahawk Marketplace volunteer program is about providing aid and building a community that cares. It is a hands-on, comfortable environment, run by people who share a belief in the positive impact of the food pantry's collective efforts.

Queennie Jimenez, a graduate of Economics and Accounting at Broward College, embodies resilience and authentic leadership and exemplifies the transformative impact of community engagement. She has benefitted from the Seahawk Marketplace both as a someone who has received its services, and as a volunteer. "The pantry is more than just food and hygiene products. It is a community of genuine people who want you to succeed, regardless of your mental and financial challenges. This place became my escape from academia," says Queennie.

She views the pantry not just as a resource center but as a community that provides consolation and support, reflecting her commitment to uplift others. Queenie's inspiring journey and aspirations to establish a consulting firm make her an encouragement of hope and a source of lasting inspiration within the Broward College community.

Daniela Iregui, a soon-to-be graduate and volunteer of The Seahawk Marketplace, says the pantry is a "fun place to work," where impact is measured not only in the resources provided, but the positive transformations witnessed in the lives of those in need. 

Seahawk Marketplace Operating Hours

A. Hugh Adams Central Campus: Building 19, Room 128. Open Mondays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Tuesdays to Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

South Campus: Building 68, Room 101. Open Tuesday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

North Campus: Building 46, Room 113. Open Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Thursday and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Swami Hinojosa is a student journalist and the Central Bureau Chief for The Observer. Interested in how you can contribute to the blog at broward.edu? Contact Brian Zimmerman in the Office of Public Affairs & Marketing, bzimmerman@broward.edu.