Serving the community

Alia Lewis

Grades? Check. Involvement? Check. Service? Not so much.

With all of the things going on in college, community service is often the last thing on a student’s mind. Fortunately, the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement provides resources that will make volunteering both fun and convenient.

“Volunteering is one way to find and be a part of a community that helps make experiences meaningful.” Danyel Addes, coordinator of Civic Engagement, said.

“It’s a good way to connect with other students who care about the same things you do.”

Here at GSU, there are a number of ways students can get involved and serve the local community.

Weekly Volunteer Trips

Each week the OSL sponsors free trips to local organizations in Statesboro for students to volunteer. Trips range from after school programs and food banks to nursing homes and more. Students are able to choose their desired organization based on the time slots that align with their schedule. Transportation is provided both to and from these organizations.

Community Liaisons

Students who desire more involvement and service can become community liaisons. Community Liaisons are placed within community agencies to recruit other students to volunteer. They are paid to work 8-10 hours at the organization assisting with the needs as determined.

Volunteers In Action (VIA)

If you want to volunteer but are also looking for more hands-on experience in your major or field, VIA is the way to go. Students work 5-15 hours at community agencies specializing in work such as activities planning, special events management, grant writing, research, social media, marketing/PR, volunteer management, non-profit management and more. There are a variety of positions available to students who would like to get involved.

Service Learning

Want to volunteer and also receive class credit for it? If so, Service Learning may be right for you. Service Learning allows students to provide a service for a non-profit organization in exchange for the skills gained and knowledge learned. It gives students the opportunity to try out the field before they pick a career in it.

“Students worry about what things are going to be like in the real world. [Service Learning] helps students before they make decisions about their careers. They’re able to see their fields practiced in real life,” Wendy Denton, assistant director of Service Learning, said.

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks provided students with opportunities to volunteer and help others during their school breaks. Alternative Breaks are offered during spring, summer and winter breaks. “Students can go for a week with a group of other students and focus on specific social issues,” Addes said.

Overall, there are numerous ways students can serve the local community in Statesboro. No matter how busy you are, there are always multiple opportunities available.

“You don’t need a lot of time,” Addes said. “It’s worth pursuing whenever you can, even if you’re worried you don’t have time.” By volunteering, students can earn community service hours, gain hands on experience and feel satisfied by serving those in need.

Students who want to learn more about volunteer opportunities can stop by the Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement inside of the Russell Union or log onto their website.