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New, Transfer Students Participate in Annual Community Service Day

September 6, 2011 – A total of 366 Georgetown freshmen and transfer students fanned out over Washington, D.C., this past Saturday to feed the homeless, clean up neighborhoods and help in other ways during Georgetown’s annual Community Service Day.

“We hope this event will inspire new students to engage in the community that will be their home for at least the next four years, as well as envision how service fits into their time here at Georgetown,” said Ray Shiu, program director for student leadership and special programs at the Center for Social Justice, Research, Teaching & Service.

CSJ hosted the day of service.

Introducing Freshmen

Among the eight sites the students visited on Saturday were the Carver 2000 Senior Center, the Kenilworth-Parkside Community Center, Sasha Bruce Youthwork and Washington Parks & People.

Neighborhood cleanups included Lincoln Heights, Edson Place and Minnesota Avenue, and the student volunteers provided sandwiches to the homeless and hungry in Marvin Gaye Park and helped with food distribution at the River Terrace Community Day Picnic.

“For me, CSJ has been a huge part of my Georgetown experience,” said Colleen Gravens (C’14), one of 74 site leaders. “It’s awesome to introduce freshmen to Georgetown in a new way through the CSJ.”

Social Justice

After the day of service, they participated in a celebration at Kenilworth Elementary School in Ward 7 of D.C, which served as the focus of this year’s Community Service Day. Georgetown’s Ward 7 Initiative focuses on strengthening partnerships with Ward 7 schools, community organizations and other partners to build a broad network of support for Ward 7 students and families.

Students had a chance to reflect with their site group before heading to the celebration at Kenilworth. About 70 upperclassmen helped organize new students and facilitate discussions afterward.

“I hope that … we showed them how much they can do in their time at Georgetown in service and for social justice issues that they care about,” said student coordinator Lindsey Dooner (C’12). “Hopefully, freshmen walked away [wanting] more. While we wanted today to bring some sense of achievement to everyone that participated, we really hope that they also feel challenged to do more.”

Heavy Involvement

The new students seemed to appreciate the experience.

“The college community service experience was a little bit different because we had a reflection time afterwards,” said freshman Gianna Maita (C’15).

As a result of the experience, Maita said she would “be heavily involved in community service in general here.”

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