Nearly 400 students volunteered at some 30 sites across the city of Boston on Saturday, dedicating their time to serving the community as part of the university’s annual Service Day. NU Service Day is organized by the Center of Community Service, which is a division of the Office of City and Community Affairs.
Some students cleaned up public parks across the city, including those in Fenway, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain, while others facilitated writing activities for children in Copley Square. In Dorchester, students went door-to-door to aid voter registration efforts. In Jamaica Plain, they helped prepare meals to be delivered to people homebound by illness. And on campus, they worked to create classroom resources for pre-school kids.
We caught up with some of the student volunteers, who told us about their experiences.
“We always have an awesome time participating in this event and volunteering with other students,” said Elena Howland, AMD’17, who volunteered as part of Northeastern’s Mural Club. Volunteers painted canvases to donate to community organizations around Boston.
“The experience is both relaxing and rewarding, since our day is spent painting canvases and listening to music with other volunteers. Some people also might see volunteering as a task, so it’s also great to provide a way for people to volunteer that’s fun and enjoyable,” Howland said.
“I think it’s important for others to volunteer because it not only benefits the community but oftentimes volunteers are able to see growth and change in themselves,” said Ciara Celestin, S’18. Like Howland, Celestin volunteered with the Mural Club.
“Through volunteering I was able to develop a stronger global mindset. Boston has so much to offer, and it is important that Northeastern students take the time to get to know their surrounding communities and find a way to be impactful,” Celestin said.
“I definitely enjoyed the sense of community I felt while participating in this service,” said Samantha Carleton, BHS’20, who volunteered with JumpStart, the AmeriCorps program that trains college students to mentor preschool-aged children. Her group created classroom resources to distribute to low-income preschools in Boston.
“I was able to not only bond with my fellow volunteers, but also form a connection with the children involved in the JumpStart program,” Carleton said.
“I designed and created educational posters for school children living in low-income neighborhoods involved in the JumpStart program,” Carleton said. “It was rewarding to realize that the work I created will benefit kids in the future, that my work will be used to help educate kids in need.”