Student Voices: Volunteering Broadens Academic Experience
The day after Convocation, nearly 600 first-year students participated in over 1,600 hours of community service at 26 locations across Philadelphia as part of the University’s annual Plunge program. The volunteer program offers students a chance to work at a variety of sites, such as homeless shelters, community gardens, senior centers, elementary and secondary schools and food distribution centers.
I’m a community service coordinator in our Community Service Office, and for the past two years, I have served as a student site leader for Plunge. This year, our group worked at Smith Memorial Playhouse, helping staff clear out furniture and prepare for a yard sale. (Coincidentally, I assisted in the renovation and restoration of Smith during my summer internship.)
When I tell people about my community service activities, they usually assume I work at a school or hospital. But in fact, I have volunteered with organizations close to my major in architecture, and more specifically, my minor in historic preservation, including the East Falls Historical Society, the Fairmount Park Conservancy, the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia and Habitat for Humanity. All these opportunities have provided me with great connections and real-world experience and will help guide my professional life.
Adam Hoover is a fifth-year architecture student at Jefferson.