Students at one local university are not only getting back to the classroom, but also to the needs of their community. Some Valdosta State University students are placing a huge emphasis on something other than their education.
Hitting the books isn't the only thing Lydia makes time for in her day. When she's not in class, you'll probably find her volunteering with kids in the community.
Lydia Hill says, "It’s almost like its a continuing trait. They see me doing something positive and hopefully they'll remember me and go back and realize they should volunteer also."
Students at Valdosta State University now have a place to go and volunteer their time and talents. Organizers say it was the large amount of interest and the growing community need that got the Office of Volunteer Services off and running.
John Wright, Assistant Director of Volunteer Services, says, "We want to give them an experience, not just an education, because it'll help their GPA and their resume. I mean, we just need to get out students more involved and this is one of the ways."
Organizations like the Red Cross, Boys and Girls Club and local elementary schools say they have already felt the positive impact these student volunteers can make, and just ask any of the volunteers how much fun giving your time can be.
Ashley Zahn, a VSU student volunteer, says, "I have a lot of friends that didn't even know stuff like this was available on campus, so I think that's one of our main goals just to let students know that it is available."
Organizers say this program is a win-win situation for the community and students. The Office of Volunteer Services’ next major project will be a month-long book drive.