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Shepherd freshmen participate in service day

August 23, 2010

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va - The Office of Student Community Services and Service Learning at Shepherd held its 10th annual Day of Service recently with approximately 200 first-year students participating.

Holly Frye, director of student community service and service learning, said that in the first year, the program visited one site and had 15 students participating.

Since then, the event has gained momentum and popularity.

The two-day event gives incoming freshmen a chance to get acclimated to the campus and get to know other students.

On the first day, teams traveled to 25 sites where they cleaned, weeded, and organized, among other tasks. The second day was spent helping other students move into their dorms.

Frye and her staff helped direct traffic, answer questions and provide water to thirsty workers while students unloaded vehicles.

"It helps students realize they're part of a larger community and shows them that by giving a little of themselves, they get a lot in return," Frye said.

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"The thing that amazes me is the difference in students from when they check in to the end of day two.

"Their confidence and camaraderie with each other is amazing."

Freshmen Danielle Yokum, of Moorefield, W.Va., and Kalyn Walker of Grafton, W.Va., said the day was an opportunity to make new friends and meet new people.

Students who worked at Jefferson High School cleaning windows and weeding flower beds said it was an opportunity to bond over a common goal.

Ana Manzano, a senior biology major from Martinsburg, participated in Day of Service as a freshman. Manzano led a group of students at Jefferson High School, and said she wanted to participate because she had lots of fun doing it as a freshman. "I wanted to provide the first-year students with the same fun day that I had."

Maria Hampton, of Inwood, said that she wanted to participate in Day of Service to get to know other people and help the community. "It's been great. It's a lot of fun," she said.

Cortney Meador, a sophomore business administration major of Waldorf, Maryland, participated in Day of Service last year. "It's really good to show students that community service is something that everyone does at Shepherd," Meador said.

Caroline Cusack, a junior of Clarksville, Maryland, led the group of students who worked at the Shepherdstown Day Care Center. "I had a good experience last year, and I wanted to show the new students the importance of community service," Cusack said.

Courtney Crites, a first-year student from Moorefield, said that she wanted to participate because it's an opportunity to get on campus early and meet new people and help the community. "It's such a great place, I wanted to get here early."

Aaron Ladd, a freshman from Martinsburg, said that he wanted to participate because it feels good to do something and help out around campus. "We had some fun times," Ladd said.

"It's nice to have someone come in and do the things that needed special attention," said Michelle Robinson, assistant director of the Shepherdstown Day Care Center.

In an e-mail to Frye sent Wednesday, Mark Osbourn, principal at C.W. Shipley Elementary in Harpers Ferry said, "Our school is a better place because of their contribution."

Debra Corbett, principal at Ranson Elementary School, said in an e-mail to Frye, "The students once again did a super job. Thanks for your support."

For upcoming volunteer opportunities at Shepherd University, go to the college's website at http://www.shepherd.edu/scsweb.

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