Two Roswell residents who are starting their freshman year at Georgia Southern University began college before classes started this week by gaining leadership experience giving back to the Statesboro community.
During BUILD (Building Undergraduate Involvement and Leadership Development), the 80 students selected for the program took part in constructing a Habitat for Humanity house, repair work at the Kiwanis fairgrounds in Bulloch County, as well as a number of home repairs through the Kingdom Builders Organization.
"At Georgia Southern University, we have a culture of service to others," said University Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement Jodi Middleton. "We teach our students that an important part of leadership is taking the time to help those who need it. By giving this group of students the opportunity to serve the community before they even begin classes, we are instilling in them what we hope will be a lifelong love of volunteerism."
Freshman chosen to participate were selected for their leadership potential. Georgia Southern University students logged a total of 26,000 service hours during the 2010-2011 academic year. The Office of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement offers opportunities to serve throughout the academic year, everything from working at nursing homes in Statesboro, to building trails in the Great Smokey Mountains, and helping orphanages in Honduras. While service to others in Statesboro is the focus of BUILD, the two-week event also helps ease freshman into the college experience.
"The transition to college can be a challenge for anyone. Students who participate in BUILD have the advantage of living on the campus and making a new set of friends before school starts. They interact with professors and administrators. So, by the time class starts they truly feel like a part of the University and the Statesboro community," explained Middleton, "We've found that students who participate in BUILD have a much easier time with the first months of college and they are more likely to do well in their classes as a result."
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University, offers 115 degree programs serving over 18,000 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. The University, one of Georgia's largest, is a top choice of Georgia's HOPE scholars and is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit:www.georgiasouthern.edu.