New Cornellians take part in Service Day
First-year students volunteered at about 20 locations around Mount Vernon and Lisbon on Service Day during New Student Orientation (NSO) on Aug. 24.
Cornell worked with the Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Development Group to learn about opportunities where students could participate in direct service opportunities.
“Service is part of Cornell’s mission, core values, and educational priorities, so it is an important component of NSO as well,” said Program Director for Civic Engagement Samantha Hebel. “By engaging in their community during their first week on campus, students are introduced to individuals and organizations who will become part of their life for the next four years. It is especially important that they work in the Mount Vernon and Lisbon communities because this is their new home.”
Service work included cleaning up United Methodist Church of Mount Vernon, painting and cleaning the First Street Community Center, assembling kites for a festival held by the Mount Vernon Area Arts Council, washing fire trucks for the Mount Vernon Volunteer Fire Department, cleaning bookshelves for the Lisbon Public Library, and sorting and organizing the clothing closet and food pantry for the Southeast Linn Community Center.
“While they give back, they are building community contacts, making connections to a new space, and are learning about organizations they can take advantage of during their time on the Hilltop,” Hebel said. “This is a great way for students to learn about support services, find their spiritual community, and enjoy all the varied parks and spaces offered by these two towns. It is also my hope that this gives the community a unique way to meet the new Cornellians and to continue to build connections between Cornell, Mount Vernon, and Lisbon.”
Students also spent the morning exploring local businesses and learning history about the surrounding community from local volunteers. New Cornellians participated in a grill out lunch by Bon Appétit at Memorial Park, just up the street from campus.