September 4, 2014 – On Saturday, August 23, students, faculty and staff from Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies (SCS) began the Fall 2014 Semester with a day of service in downtown Washington, D.C.
SCS holds service days in the fall and spring semesters. This fall, the School visited the Asian & Pacific Islander Senior Service Center, Central Union Mission and local schools. In the spring, SCS will once again join together with the entire Georgetown University to participate in MLK Day of Service.
"I enjoyed meeting our students while reaffirming our commitment to our downtown Washington, D.C. community," said SCS Dean Kelly Otter, who helped with housekeeping projects at Central Union Mission, a homeless shelter. “I cannot think of a better way to introduce new members of our community to the Georgetown values."
Students & Staff Bond Over Hard Work
"The Fall Semester Day of Service was a great opportunity to explore the meaning of Georgetown University's Jesuit values while connecting students, faculty and staff from various graduate programs,” said Ricardo Preciado, incoming student in the Master’s in Technology Management program. Preciado participated in a project to prepare classrooms at Charles Hart Middle School in Southeast Washington, D.C. for the upcoming school year. Volunteers cleaned and decorated classrooms so that incoming students may focus on academics.
Volunteers at Central Union Mission assisted with housekeeping, making beds, sorting donations and other tasks. The Mission features an overnight guest program for the homeless in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and distributes food and other household items to low-income families at no cost.
Glenn Williamson, visiting assistant professor of real estate, painted restrooms, repaired ceiling paneling and cleaned the Asian & Pacific Islander Senior Service Center. "I enjoyed teaming up to figure out how to jigsaw new ceiling tiles to fit around old pipes," Williamson commented. "This was a good opportunity to meet other faculty and students and also to do something useful for the Chinatown community around our campus."
Located three blocks from the School of Continuing Studies, the Center provides seniors in the Chinatown neighborhood with free meals, literacy classes and translation services.
Responsibility to the Community
"I wanted to learn more about Georgetown’s community work and also about the public school system in Washington, D.C.,” explained Preciado, who is originally from Panama. “Kids back home [in Panama] deserve studying environments like the ones we beautified…I was inspired to improve schools and education back home in the near future."
SCS seeks to foster a culture of community engagement that spans beyond the classroom. Consistent with Georgetown University’s mission to educate men and women for others, SCS is an active partner to neighborhood organizations and encourages students to pursue pro bono consulting and internship opportunities. During the spring of 2014, SCS students performed pro bono services for Capital Breast Care Center, Cause: Comfort for America’s Uniformed Services, Latin American Youth Center and United Through Reading, among other organizations
Sustained Community Ties
As the fall semester commences, SCS plans to once again participate in holiday food, toy and book drives for three organizations: So Others Might Eat, an interfaith, community-based organization that assists the poor and homeless of Washington, D.C.; 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.
"I look forward to expanding SCS’s impact in the downtown D.C. community," remarked Dean Otter. "As a Catholic and Jesuit university, we have an imperative to pair intellectual rigor with a spirit of service."
SCS Community Impact
Center for Social Impact Communication