Georgia Southern students find their passion in volunteering

Sarah Smith

STATESBORO — Georgia Southern students find their passion for volunteering through Serve912 and other organizations on the Statesboro and Savannah campuses.

“In the 13 years I have been at Georgia Southern, our students have always had a heart for service and I am so proud that they continue to positively engage with the local community,” Jodi Kennedy, Director of Leadership and Community Engagement, wrote in an email. “Georgia Southern students who serve in the local Statesboro and Savannah communities will continue to grow the strong relationship the university has with the cities.”

Serve912 is a local community engagement program that provides year-round opportunities for students to get involved with the community. Currently, there are 13 Serve912 volunteer trips each week on the Statesboro campus and four Serve912 volunteer trips weekly on the Armstrong campus, according to Kennedy.

From Aug. 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019, GS students volunteered 46,415 hours of their time to their community. The hours had an approximate monetary impact of $932,104 dollars, according to All On Georgia.

Rachel Vaughn, a sophomore rehabilitation sciences major and Serve912 Trip Leader, volunteered roughly 50 hours through Serve912 and Treasure Savannah. 

“I have always had a heart for volunteering and helping the community in any way possible,” Vaughn wrote in an email. “The easily accessible weekly service trips through the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement sounded like the perfect way to help my community.”

The number of service hours performed by the students is evidence of their desire to give back to others and invest in making their communities better, according to Kennedy.

“I love that Georgia Southern has an office dedicated to serving the community and building better leaders,” Vaughn wrote in an email. “That office is an amazing resource that will provide transportation and four weekly opportunities to get out and serve the community, so your only worry is showing up ready to serve.”

Jillian Scelsi, sophomore radiologic science major, is a member of Southern Leaders and Serve912 as the marketing chair, as well as a member of the BCM of Armstrong. Through her community involvement, Scelsi has found volunteering to be her passion. 

“Georgia Southern’s leadership program is well know, so getting involved to broaden my leadership skills as well as being able to put them to use in the community was a big deal,” Scelsi wrote in an email. “Being able to work with a team that wants to serve is all the more rewarding because you know it’s for someone or something better.”

Scelsi has volunteered over 100 hours of her time to the community in the year that she has been at GS.

“Community service allows students to become engaged in the world around them while developing skills that can be used as they serve in leadership roles on campus and in their future careers,” Kennedy said. “We have had many students who have found their passion through volunteering and ended up changing their career path because of their experiences.”

Sarah Smith, The George-Anne News Editor, [email protected]