Community service is an important part of a well-rounded student experience that benefits both the community and volunteers. During the fall semester, Physician Assistant and Public Health students at Arcadia University's Delaware Campus participated in three community service projects for a variety of organizations—one national, one state, and one local in scope. A local family in need was among the beneficiaries of the students' efforts.
In October, a group of students met in Wilmington, Del., to participate in the 2011 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a walk to benefit the American Cancer Society. This is the second year a group from the Delaware campus attended, and students hope to make this an annual event.
The next month, canned and non-perishable food was collected before Thanksgiving break for the Food Bank of Delaware, which provides low- and no-cost food to qualified programs throughout the state. The number of Food Bank recipients has risen since the economic downturn, and estimates suggest that the number will continue to grow.
In December students adopted a family of three through the Salvation Army Angel Tree program. The family, a mother and two boys aged 4 and 8, had been living in a shelter and needed help not just for Christmas presents for the children but for supplies to start life in a new apartment. Students purchased most of the items requested on the family’s list, as well as donating money for Target gift cards.
Delaware students were excited to participate in these projects, and many of their family members also got involved.
“As future Physician Assistants, we have a responsibility to give back to our community outside of our clinical practice. We represent the future of the profession and need to ensure our dedication to the community,” said Linda Jiang, a master's student in the dual degree PA and M.P.H. program.