Incoming students ‘Engage’ through service-oriented experience at Elon
Twenty-four new Elon students spent the week at Elon and in the Alamance County community serving nonprofits and learning about the area.
Two dozen members of Elon University’s incoming class of students got a first taste of campus life last week while serving a number of local nonprofits during the Engage summer experience.
One of four summer experiences for first-year Elon students coordinated through the university’s New Student & Transition Programs, Engage is headed by the Kernodle Center for Service Learning and Community Engagement. The six-day program seeks to offer an introduction to the local community while providing service opportunities across a range of campus and community organizations.
The 24 students participated in a Habitat for Humanity building project, worked at the university’s Loy Farm, volunteered at Living Free Ministries thrift shop in Graham and worked in a variety of capacities at Peacehaven Farm, a sustainable farm and affordable housing community for adults with special needs.
“A lot of students are interested in serving the community, and come to Elon knowing that the university has established that as a priority,” said Kyle Anderson, assistant director of student community engagement programs within the Kernodle Center. “It’s an excellent opportunity for students to become acquainted with the local community and begin the transition to campus life through a community service lens.”
During the program, which ran July 9-14, the students arrived at campus from a range of states along the East Coast and Midwest and spent the week living in a residence hall. Time spent during the days working the nonprofit organizations was supplemented by panel discussions with faculty, staff and current students about the Elon experience. The students also toured the Elon and Burlington communities and visited the nearby city of Greensboro to get a broader perspective of the area.
“The is the only Elon First-Year Summer Experience program that’s on campus, so that’s definitely a draw,” Anderson said. “They get a chance to stay here in a residence hall and spend a week getting familiar with the campus. I think a lot of these students appreciated the opportunity to come to campus and make connections with faculty, staff and fellow students before beginning their Elon careers in August.”
Elon also offers Adventures in Leadership, Discovery and Innovation summer experiences for incoming students. The Adventures in Leadership program focuses on an outdoor experience with hiking, camping, climbing and group activities. The Discovery program begins on campus before moving to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for outdoor activities. Hosted in Los Angeles, the Innovation program includes themed days of Balance, Creativity and Effort.