January 27, 2014 – Students, faculty and staff from Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies (SCS) celebrated the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by volunteering in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 7 for a day of service to the local community on Saturday, Jan. 25.
The day of service is part of Georgetown’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr., celebration and was organized by the Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service.
“It was a privilege to join with our Georgetown community for this day of service in the city’s Ward 7,” said Walter Rankin, SCS interim dean. “I was happy to contribute and continue building on the school’s commitment to mission and service, a particular focus for us since we moved to our new downtown D.C. location last summer.”
Many of the day’s activities were chronicled on social media and are gathered on Storify.
Students participated in various service projects, including picking up trash in the streets, making sandwiches for local homeless shelters, writing letters of encouragement to international peace volunteers and visiting a senior citizens housing center where they cleaned facilities, folded laundry and visited with residents.
"It's an amazing feeling to give back to the community – from picking up trash in the streets to spending time with senior citizens, I feel proud to be a part of Georgetown University and its mission to serve others," said Ehsan Mahmoudyeh (G'15), a student in the master's in sports industry management program.
More than 50 students from the School of Continuing Studies and Georgetown University Law Center, located just a few blocks away from SCS’s campus, volunteered. They joined with more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students from Georgetown’s main campus.
“It was truly a rewarding experience to honor the legacy of Dr. King with a day of service,” said Chloe' D. Kerr (G’15), a student in the master’s in public relations and corporate communications program. “Many of the organizers expressed that service is universal, and it was a day for students, of all academic levels and backgrounds, to come together and give back.”
The Center for Social Justice Research, Teaching and Service and the D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative organized several of the day’s service projects.
"This day of service was a fantastic opportunity to live Georgetown's values of being women and men for others," said Andrew Glass (C'13), who works in the SCS Office of the Dean. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to continue to participate in service events as a Georgetown staff member, having graduated from the College last May. As SCS continues to grow, so too will our commitment to serve the communities in which we live and work."
After students, faculty and staff finished their service projects, everyone came together to reflect on the day’s activities during a community lunch and celebration.
Building Community Ties
The School of Continuing Studies has continued to build ties with the Washington community since it moved last summer to its new location in downtown D.C. in the Gallery Place/Chinatown neighborhood.
At the start of the fall 2013 term, new students joined SCS Interim Dean Walter Rankin and staff for a day of service at two local neighbors of SCS – Central Union Mission, a faith- based nonprofit social service agency, and the Asian and Pacific Islander Senior Center, which provides seniors from the Chinatown neighborhood with literacy classes, translation services and more.
And in December 2013, SCS sponsored holiday food, toy and book drives at its campus for three organizations: So Others Might Eat, an interfaith, community-based organization that exists to help the poor and homeless of Washington; the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots, a program that collects and distributes toys to less fortunate children across the country; and Georgetown’s Angel Book Drive, an annual book drive that brings the gift of reading to children and young adults in the Washington area who have limited access to books.
"In these situations, you're able to reflect on your life and really appreciate what you have," said Mahmoudyeh. "We're very fortunate."