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Shepherd students take part in Day of Service

August 12, 2009|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Shepherd University senior Jessica Johnson met her college roommate four years ago during the school's annual Day of Service.

The 21-year-old biology major still has the same roommate and remains involved in the community service outreach program that is designed to help new students make an immediate connection with the campus and the community.

"It represents things that we really value at Shepherd, such as the community service aspect of college life" said Johnson, a pre-med student. "It also makes these students interact so they kind of form their first relationships at college in a positive manner."

Johnson, of Elkins, W.Va., led a team of 10 students Wednesday who volunteered to paint the exterior of the Habitat for Humanity of the Eastern Panhandle's ReStore building in the 600 block of West Race Street in Martinsburg.

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"We want to be in compliance with the city. We don't want to be a derelict building. We want to be attractive and it needed to be done, and the students were excited to do it," Habitat for Humanity board member Judith Boykin said.

The project was one of several primarily in Berkeley and Jefferson counties that more than 200 first-year students were expected to tackle as part of the ninth Day of Service.

"This is the largest group to date," Holly Frye, Shepherd's director of student community services and service learning, said in a news release last week.

"It is common for students to sign up and not show up, but a number have confirmed, and we are very excited."

While optional for students to participate, those who do can arrive on campus a few days early.

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