Vanderbilt University freshmen spend part of orientation helping local community

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Approximately 1,600 Vanderbilt University freshmen will spend one of their first days at their new home away from home helping out the local community.

As part of orientation, the students will work at about 70 sites throughout Nashville on Tuesday, Aug. 22, from around 1 to 4 p.m. doing community service covering a range of interests including youth, poverty, elder care, education, environment and the arts. A sampling of projects includes the following:

• Eakin Elementary, 2400 Fairfax Ave. – Students will help with reading, tutoring and other activities.
• Habitat for Humanity Homestore, 1001 8th Ave. S. – Students will stock shelves, price merchandise and unload trucks.
• Project Reflect, 3307 Brick Church Pike – Students will work with youth through this organization that helps disadvantaged children with their educational needs.

The university has been a leader in the growing trend of colleges and universities striving to not only develop bright minds, but community citizens as well. Vanderbilt has the oldest and one of the largest Alternative Spring Break (ASB) programs in the nation – during ASB students spend their time off working to serve communities across the country – and the university’s Office of Active Citizenship and Service, which coordinates ASB, also helps students, faculty and staff plan other service trips across the country and around the world.

This summer students worked with health organizations in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, as part of that country’s response to HIV/AIDS. Vanderbilt students have also helped residents in Louisiana’s rural Washington Parish clean up in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and worked in a medical and dental clinic started by a Vanderbilt medical student in Xela, Guatemala.

For more news about Vanderbilt, visit VUCast – Vanderbilt’s News Network at

Media Contact: Princine Lewis, 615-322-NEWS

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