Student volunteers go "Into the Streets"
September 24, 2016

Students head ‘Into The Streets’ at nine community service sites

By Logan Bogert, VCU News

VCU’s 19th annual day of service drew more than 250 students into the Richmond community Saturday, Sept. 24. The Into The Streets program, sponsored by University Student Commons and Activities’ Student Leadership and Involvement Center, promotes campus and community unity, allowing students to come together for one day of the year to give back to the surrounding community through service projects.

Nicole Patterson, coordinator for volunteer programs, said that Into The Streets “encourages a lot of dialogue” and “takes a reflective-learning approach to service” to allow volunteers to think deeper about community service.

This year, VCU students volunteered across nine different sites, including Grow On! Garden, the American Diabetes Association, Patrick Henry Elementary School, Shalom Farms, Friends of Bryan Park, Broad Street Mile, Oregon Hill Association, Dress for Success and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Each site was led and coordinated by a student leader from the Honors College. All of the more than 200 first-year Honors College students volunteered.

“At the Dress for Success site, one of my responsibilities before and after the event was to facilitate the parallel reflection,” said Dmitriy Andreevich Voronin, a junior computer science major and site leader. “In addition to the thought-provoking conversations, I directed Honors College scholars to ‘Leave the place better than we found it.’ This not only included completing the tasks assigned to me for delegation, but cleaning, organizing and helping with the day-to-day operations of Dress For Success.”

Voronin was one of a dozen Honors College students who served as site leaders. Students from the new VCU living-learning community, Engage, also volunteered. Engage is a new themed community for students who want to give back to their community through service. These residents participate in both direct and indirect community engagement opportunities.

“I chose [the Oregon Hill] location because seeing as there’s a church here I knew it would be very populated so a lot of people would benefit from this cleanup,” said Perray Saravanane, a freshman biology major and Engage student. “More organizations like us coming in periodically to clean up and having a dedicated clean up crew for this area would help keep Oregon Hill clean long after we leave.”