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Volunteering Has a Fresh START

The huge campus and thousands of unfamiliar faces often leave newcomers to University Park feeling overwhelmed. However, the Fresh START Day of Service held last Saturday allows freshman, international students, and transfer students to ease into the transition of making friends and becoming familiar with the area while also giving back to the community through volunteer work.

According to their website, Students Taking an Active Role Today, or START, began in 1999 and has grown in success and popularity each year. Tyler Doppelheuer, Fresh START 2011’s Director of Logistics, said that over 900 people were registered for this year’s event and there were over 40 service sites for volunteering. The service opportunities were spread out across all of State College, from Adopt-A-Highway projects to cleaning the mats used for THON. Doppelheuer said “the service sites were incredibly satisfied” and the day was nothing short of fantastic.

Yet what had Doppelheuer most excited was that the majority of the volunteers were freshmen. He believes getting University Park’s youngest students involved in service work will lead to an increased trend of volunteering for the University.

“The class of 2015 will be a great one for the community,” said Doppelheuer.

But the work doesn’t stop here. While Fresh START is one of the largest volunteering opportunities of the year, there are countless other ways that Penn State students can get involved and serve their campus and community. By visiting Penn State’s volunteer website, students can sign up for the many service options available.

Let’s face it, there’s nothing like the feeling you get from a selfless act. It’s a win-win.


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