First-year and transfer students worked in local parks and schools and learned about valuable community programs.
George Washington University student volunteers busied themselves Saturday afternoon clearing weeds, pulling overhanging vines from a fence and removing old mulch from a Foggy Bottom dog park. Others picked up debris and swept a children’s park in the neighborhood near the university’s main campus.
The first-year and transfer student volunteers were joined by members of GW leadership, including President Mark S. Wrighton, who noted at one site that the university “is going to be stronger if its community is stronger, and we’re in the neighborhood, and we want to be surrounded by great neighbors and a great community.”
It was the 14th annual Convocation and Welcome Day of Service and the first fully in-person event since 2019. The project activities at 61 sites—including about 40 schools ahead of the first day of returning to classes for D.C. Public Schools—mostly around the city were organized by the Honey Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. At one of the largest school sites, Bruce-Monroe Elementary School in Northwest D.C., more than 125 students helped to paint and spruce up the school, with several students returning on Sunday to finish projects that were left unfinished.
Amy Cohen, executive director of the Honey Nashman Center, said the Welcome Day of Service introduces incoming students to their new home, GW administrators and to opportunities to get involved in the local community. Cohen noted that Washington Monthly rankings for service came out Monday, and GW is No. 3 among national universities for service for the second year in a row.