Students looking to give back to the community will have the chance the first week of class during the annual Penn State Volunteer and Involvement Fair.
The event, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 26-29 at the HUB, gives students looking to be a part of the university and State College-area community the chance to get information on numerous organizations.
Julie LeBlanc, Penn State Student Activities program director, said the event is aimed at new students, but is open to all.
“The purpose is for students to learn about services and ways to make the most of your college years,” LeBlanc said.
These agencies and organizations include 35 student service organizations, 10 philanthropic organizations and 15 community agencies that include Centre LifeLink EMS, Columbus Chapel & Boal Mansion Museum, Sierra Club Moshannon Group, Centre County Women’s Resource Center, Child Development & Family Council of Centre County, PeaceCorps, Community Help Centre, Centre Region Parks & Recreation, Brookline Village, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Discovery Space of Central Pennsylvania and more.
On Aug. 26-28, information will be available on general student organizations. On Aug. 26 and 27, information about club sports will be available to students at Heritage Hall. On Aug. 28, the event is dedicated to community service originations and on Aug. 29, information about Greek life is available at Alumni Hall.
Student Organizations Program Director Jen Grossman Leopard said the event attracts about 19,500 people. A similar fair is held during the spring semester, she said.
“This is a staple of our institution and it has been going on for decades,” Grossman Leopard said. “Being involved in your school or community is a marker for student success. They learn valuable skills, leadership skills, real-life and transferable skills, and leads to things like a higher GPA, not to mention it can be a lot of fun.”
Other events throughout welcome week at Penn State also include the Fresh Start Day of Service and Living in one neighborhood program.
Fresh Start day is on Aug. 31 in Alumni and Heritage halls at the HUB from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Students are able to get assigned to work with community organizations around Centre County for the day.
LeBlanc said transportation is available for the participants and will include an estimated 850 students working with about 40 community agencies.
“This is usually the launching point for further involvement,” LeBlanc said.
And this year, while the same recognized student organizations are scheduled for the Volunteer and Involvement Fair, they will be grouped by category for the first time.
“We spend a lot of the summer preparing and we’re proud to bring this to students,” LeBlanc said.