Over 600 new Berry College students and their first-year seminar instructors headed out to serve in the Rome and Floyd COunty Community on Saturday as part of the school’s annual First-Year Service Day. Both freshman and transfer students participate in the event with the goal of fulfilling College founder Martha Berry’s motto “Not to be ministered unto but to minister.”
“An important tradition at Berry, First-Year Service Day is intended to introduce students to the Rome and Floyd County community while also strengthening bonds among classmates. Equally important, the day helps to introduce new students to the culture of service at the heart of Berry’s mission,” says Katherine Powell, director of Office of First-Year Experience at Berry.
The day will begin with breakfast in Berry’s Krannert Center before the students departed for their sites. Following the day of service, an afternoon celebration with a cookout sponsored by the Berry College Alumni Association and ice cream social sponsored by the Chaplain’s office was held for students.
Jake Hager, a senior environmental science major at Berry spent much of the summer setting up service opportunities for the incoming class. “The day is valuable, because it gets new students out of the small world of Berry. They get to be active participants in the community by working with local organizations on current projects. We get to work with—not for—the community.”
The students completed projects all around the community for various organizations including Network Day Service Center, Heritage Park mural, Exchange Club Family Resource Center, Arrowhead Environmental Education Center, Rome City Clocktower, ECO Center, William S. Davies Homeless Shelter, Rome Rotary, YMCA of Rome-Floyd County, Habitat for Humanity, Community Kitchen, Harbor House, Keep Rome-Floyd Beautiful, Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth, Zuber Cemetary, American Red Cross, The Nature Conservancy, Homestead Hospice, Action Ministries Rome, North Rome Community Action, Restoration Lindale, South Rome Community Center, GE Trails, Mountain Springs Church, Johnson Elementary School, Open Door Children’s Home, PAWS and Pruitt Health-Rome.