Engaging with the Atlanta community’s service organizations is not only a 40-hour requirement in the Arthur M. Blank Family Upper School. It’s also a passion and major activity for many students. Volunteerism allows people to become active members of their community and help those in need, and participation can spur the development of skills in collaboration and critical thinking.
Organized by Isdell Center for Global Leadership Associate Director Zeena Lattouf and Freshman Transitions Program Coordinator Lee Wilson, Community Engagement Day exposes students to some of the service opportunities available in the Atlanta area. On Oct. 10, all freshmen volunteered at one of five sites: the Atlanta Beltline, Bloom Closet, Blue Heron Nature Preserve, Essence of Hope and Price Middle School.
Essence of Hope aids people whose lives have been adversely affected by homelessness and hunger. These people have endured addiction, alcoholism, HIV, AIDS, mental illness, domestic violence and an abundance of other struggles. There, the students organized food donations, helped the staff get ready for their clients and handed out the food they sorted. “I really enjoyed volunteering at Essence of Hope because I got to meet a bunch of interesting people and everyone I met was so nice,” said freshman Alison Silverboard. “It was a really cool experience, and I would definitely volunteer there again.”
At Price Middle School, Pace volunteers painted over pen and pencil markings on the walls of the school and cleaned up trash. According to freshman Giana Karamanolis, the freshman volunteers learned about the school’s mission to inspire all students, as they are part of the “Purpose-Built Schools Atlanta” organization. These schools strive to create high-performing schools in low-income areas in Atlanta. “Working at Price Middle School was a great experience and an opportunity to give back to a school committed to helping its community, not only through education, but also through the guidance of kids who have difficulties at home,” said freshman Marielle Frogman. “I’m grateful to have gotten the chance to contribute to such a compassionate undertaking.”