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'Get On the Bus' program mobilizes Virginia Tech volunteers


   

Students pick sweet potatoes Sophomores Kelly Swanner of Virginia Beach, Va., who is majoring in architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and Marissa McKee, of Middletown, Md., who is majoring in interior design in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies pick sweet potatoes with Get On the Bus.


BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 9, 2012 – VT Engage: The Community Learning Collaborative is mobilizing the Virginia Tech community to serve with a new project called Get On the Bus. The Saturday projects, which kicked off on Oct. 6, involve three to four hours of service with a community organization followed by reflection. This semester Get On the Bus has focused its projects on hunger relief in the New River Valley.

Get On the Bus supports VT Engage’s larger focus on creating community engagement opportunities to inspire a long-term commitment to service. These individual projects invite students, faculty, or staff to meet community partners in the New River Valley, learn about their organization, and find opportunities for further involvement.

To date, three projects have gone out to area service sites taking students to pick sweet potatoes with Kentland Farms, pack food for area hunger relief agencies at Feeding America of Southwest Virginia, and gleaning turnips in Riner, Va., with the Society for St. Andrews.

Wyatt Taylor, AmeriCorps VISTA member, serves as the Get On the Bus coordinator. Through the service projects Taylor says, “I hope students and faculty gain a new appreciation not only for the needs of the community around them, but also for the impact that they themselves can have on addressing those needs.”

Over the spring semester additional projects will be planned for Get On the Bus. To register for an upcoming project or to inquire about leadership opportunities contact Wyatt Taylor.

Check the VT Engage website for announcements on future projects.

If you are interested in sponsoring a Get On the Bus project in the spring semester contact Whitney Johnson for more information.

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. Outreach and International Affairs leads Virginia Tech’s presence on five continents; its regional research and development centers across the commonwealth focus on graduate education and professional development. Blacksburg-based centers are dedicated to student engagement, language, policy, and governance.