VCU Students Go Into The Streets

Over 250 VCU students went “into the streets” on Sept. 24 for the University’s 19th annual day of service.

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. Coordinator for Volunteer Programs Nicole Patterson 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.

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This year, VCU students volunteered across nine different sites, which included Grow On! Garden, the American Diabetes Association, Patrick Henry Elementary, Shalom Farms, Friends of Bryan Park, Broad St. Mile, Oregon Hill Association, Dress for Success and the Children’s Museum of Richmond. Each site was lead and coordinated by a student leader from The Honors College. In partnership with The Honors College, all first-year Honors College students, numbering over 200,  volunteered for Into The Streets.

“At the Dress for Success site, one of my responsibilities before and after the event was to facilitate the parallel reflection,” Dmitriy Andreevich Voronin, a junior computer science major and Into The Streets site leader, said. “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.”

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Voronin was one of 12 Honors College students who served as site leaders. Additionally, students from a new VCU living-learning community called “Engage” also volunteered for this annual day of service. 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,” freshman biology major and Engage student Perray Saravanane said. “More organizations like us coming in periodically to cleanup and having a dedicated cleanup crew for this area would help keep Oregon Hill clean long after we leave.”

The Into The Streets program happens once a year in the fall and is open to all students who want to volunteer.

For even more photos from Into The Streets, view our Flickr album.

To receive information on upcoming volunteer SLIC programs, contact Nicole Patterson at nlpatterson@vcu.edu or visit the SLIC office in the lower level of the University Student Commons Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m.

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