BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 14, 2011 – Virginia Tech’s SERVE (Students Engaging and Responding through Volunteer Service) living-learning community welcomes 21 new freshmen to its section of Pritchard Hall this year, acting as the largest group yet. The number of students has nearly doubled the numbers from last year, including more actively involved returning students.
“I feel so energized by the start of the new academic year as we welcome this new group of first-year students into the SERVE family,” said Jake Grohs, Virginia Tech alumnus and assistant director for student engagement and SERVE coordinator. “It is great to see other students adopting new and exciting leadership roles within the program.”
Also, the group will add 18 students to be involved in mentoring, advising and planning service immersion trips, many of whom have been involved with the program since its inception in 2009.
One returning student, Analise Adams, a junior in psychology and human development, says she is eager to take on a leadership role with SERVE this coming year. “Serve has been an integral part of my time at Virginia Tech. As I finished my involvement in the program as a freshman, I knew this was an experience I wanted to continue to learn from,” Adams said. “I chose to take advantage of being a student mentor and a trip leader for service immersion weekends. What I have learned from serve has given me the tools to process the world around me differently as well as facilitating experiences for people to learn more about those concepts.”
SERVE is a signature program of the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships and provides incoming freshmen a unique opportunity to engage in a variety of service projects while reflecting on their experiences in the classroom. The community is in partnership with the Department of Housing and Residence Life within the Division of Student Affairs.
“I am always astonished by the energy and the maturity of our SERVE students,” said Grohs. “I take lessons every day from them as they create the culture of the community itself and they live out [Virginia Tech's] motto of Ut Prosim deeply and daily.”
Virginia Tech’s Outreach and International Affairs supports the university’s engagement mission by creating community partnerships and economic development projects, offering professional development programs and technical assistance, and building collaborations to enrich discovery and learning – all with the overarching goal of improving the quality of life for people within the commonwealth and throughout the world.