Twenty seven incoming freshmen from eight states joined with Converse faculty and staff members July 7 and 8 in 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.
“Summer SERVE is a wonderful experience,” said Jennifer Radford ’09 of Johnson City, TN. “Before arriving in Spartanburg, I knew only one of my future classmates, and that’s because we graduated from the same high school. But this group has bonded very well, and it’ll be good to already have true friends when fall classes begin.”
Incoming students from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee volunteered their efforts at a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, the Humane Society of Spartanburg, an assisted living facility for senior citizens, Habitat for Humanity, and the Spartanburg Boys and Girls Club.
Ìowyn Morrow ’09 of Boiling Springs, SC and Chevelle Walsh ’09 of Charleston, SC were impressed with the effort of the Converse professors and staff. “It was so cool to see the professors willing to get their hands dirty with the rest of us,” said Ìowyn. “I’ve never seen a school with professors so willing to spend their free time with students to do this type of work.” Chevelle added, “While were at The Haven (a homeless shelter), the dean of the Petrie School of Music was right there with us hanging wallpaper.”
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.