Thirty-two freshmen from Panama, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina joined with Converse faculty and staff members July 28-30 in the 2005 second session of the award-winning Summer SERVE program.
Through Summer SERVE, Converse students-to-be get an up close and personal look at Spartanburg as they work on community service projects throughout the county. An important facet of the program is that participants are also able to become better acquainted with their future classmates and professors while they work side by side on the projects. Summer SERVE participants live on campus in Converse residence halls, and meet in small groups with upperclassmen.
“I am really excited about all of the leadership opportunities at Converse and in the Spartanburg area,” said Mary-Linton Smith, a psychology major from La Grange, NC. “Plus, Summer SERVE is a great way to meet and get to know classmates. I had already talked with a few of my fellow freshmen through the Yahoo chat room Converse had set up, but it was so much fun to meet face to face. We all arrive on campus Thursday, and some of us stayed up talking past midnight.”
The students gave more than 460 service hours to a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, the Humane Society of Spartanburg, the Hatcher Garden Woodland Preserve, HALTER (Handicapped Athletes Learning to Enjoy Riding)where they assisted athletes as they learn to ride horses, an assisted living facility for senior citizens, Habitat for Humanity, and the Spartanburg Boys and Girls Club.
In 2002, Summer SERVE was named by the South Carolina College Personnel as Outstanding Program. To receive the award, programs are judged based on creativity, achievement, and overall program design and merit.