New Students Lead Community Service Efforts

By RetterJ | August 30, 2018

“It’s all about being part of the community— being part of something bigger than yourself.”

Spencer Hodges ’22, an International Studies major from Long Island, N.Y., summarized Arcadia’s Day of Service as he and his classmates repurposed stones for a new walkway at Awbury Arboretum on Monday, Aug. 27: “This is our new home. Let’s get to know it.”

The Class of 2022 is passionate— and eloquent.

Organized by Arcadia’s Community and Civic Engagement Center, this year’s Day of Service led first-year and new transfer students to 23 locations in Philadelphia, Montgomery, and Bucks counties. Volunteers sorted donations at Mitzvah Circle Foundation, The Baby Bureau, Habitat for Humanity, and Philadelphia READS Book Bank; spruced up Cheltenham Center for the Arts, New Life Nursery School, Loaves & Fishes, Stenton Manor, and The U School; and tended to wildlife at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy, Friends of High School Park, Tookany Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership, and Elmwood Park Zoo.

Other locations included Mazzoni Center, an LGBTQ+ health care provider; Rydal Park and Phoebe Wyncote retirement communities; Art Sphere Incorporated, a school for low-income youth; and hunger relief organizations such as Aid For Friends and MANNA.

For many Arcadia students, Day of Service is a first-year milestone. While giving back to the community, volunteers are encouraged to explore the area, connect with classmates, and reflect on their interests and goals.

“I’m not just assimilating with the community— I’m also understanding Arcadia’s values,” said Daisy Saavedra ’22, an International Studies major from Edison, N.J., who cared for orphaned cats at a local welfare organization, Forgotten Cats. “I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and learning more about myself already.”