Students Take Initiative, Get Involved In Community
Everyone at Pace is part of a community, such as the Pace community and the larger Atlanta community. Most would argue that being a member of a community comes with the responsibility of helping those who are less privileged. Pace equips students with a multitude of opportunities to engage in the community.
Junior Kate Mallard has been working with the First Presbyterian Church for over four years to provide a hearty breakfast for people who are homeless. Every Sunday morning, the church welcomes about 300 volunteers to prepare and serve food to the guests.
For many, this is the only hot meal they will receive all week. “It makes me think about all the little things I take for granted and appreciate what has been handed to me,” said Mallard. “The breakfast reminds me of what I have and I am more grateful because of it.” The church also hosts a barbershop and clothing closet along with assistance with finances, birth certificates and state identifications.
Every other Tuesday, a group of Pace students heads down to the Peachtree Presbyterian Church to work with LaAmistad, an organization providing a nurturing environment for Latinos in Atlanta. Pace volunteers help the students complete homework, study and review. “It is very rewarding when they feel comfortable enough to open up to you,” said senior Julia Konradt, who has been working with LaAmistad for almost five years. Aside from after-school tutoring, LaAmistad focuses on teaching people English in a span of three years.
The Atlanta Community Food Bank works to end hunger in the Metropolitan Atlanta area. Pace partners with the organization, and student volunteers can sort and pack food boxes, help at a garden or stock the pantry. Senior Mae Shippen typically runs a group to the food bank once a month.
Junior Jack Brown has been visiting the Zaban Couples Shelter since his lower school days and rose to a volunteer leadership role during his freshman year. The shelter helps the residents obtain sustainable jobs, find permanent housing and improve life skills in order to reduce homelessness. The Pace group makes lunches for them once a month and organizes three or four other events. Last year, they hosted a karaoke night for the residents.
“I’ve never seen such positivity over mediocre singing,” said Brown. “It made me realize the privilege we experience as Pace students. I think giving back is crucial to character development and people need to understand that doing service makes them better people with more open minds and bigger hearts.”
Other Pace community engagement groups include Pace Against ALS (PAALS), Bloom Closet, Agape and more. To join any of these groups, students can sign up on Mobile Serve or email any of the aforementioned leaders personally.