More than 200 freshmen spent part of their Labor Day weekend helping the community.
They participated in Orientation Outreach, the first of the University’s seven service days. The Butler Center for Service and Leadership organized this effort with first-year students in mind, but welcomed all students to join.
The outreach offered students the opportunity to volunteer alongside classmates, friends and upperclassmen site leaders at different organizations in Miami. The outreach is usually held the Saturday after the first week of classes.
This year, students visited sites at the Miami River Commission (MRC), the Tropical Audubon Society and the Everglades National Park.
Roommates Lauren Dupree and Madelyn Paquette spent their day volunteering at the MRC. Their duties included painting over graffiti, cleaning up the walkway of the river, picking up trash and beautifying the urban location.
“It was a great bonding experience,” Paquette said.
Dupree felt that the experience was inspirational and an opportunity to get off campus and see other areas of Miami.
“For high school, you’re volunteering for service hours, but in college you do it because you want to, so it changes your perspective,” she said.
Freshman Josh Myers volunteered at the Audubon Society and assisted with the improvement of the nature conservatory. He enjoyed being able to practice teamwork skills with other students working on the project and people who normally maintain the environment.
“Despite a long, hot day of hard work, Orientation Outreach managed to be the most rewarding community service experience I’ve ever had,” he said.
He wants to continue building leadership skills and is very interested in volunteering through other programs offered by the Butler Center.
For more information on service days, email the Butler Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-284-4483.