UCLA Service Begins at New Student Orientation
Posted on August 30, 2013
Service really is at the beginning of every Bruin’s journey at UCLA.
This summer, New Student and Transition Programs is teaming up with Chase Child Life Program at the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA to bring a service project to each first year New Student Orientation session. Groups of new students, along with their New Student Advisor, work together to choose toys and school supplies to donate to the hospital in hopes of providing comfort and a taste of home to the children. New Bruins also write encouraging notes to the children and decorate paper stars, which will hang in the reception area and other common areas on the floor. On the last day of each session, all donations are collected and by the end of the summer, over 27 baskets and 6,000 stars will be donated to the hospital!
At a recent orientation, the UCLA Volunteer Center attended the star-decorating session and got the opportunity to talk to Bruins, both new and continuing students, about service at UCLA. When asked about the service project, new students were pleasantly surprised to be doing service at orientation. Most seemed to expect orientation to be about only academics and enjoyed the creative release drawing allowed. New Student Advisors, who guide the new students through orientation and choosing classes, enjoyed the freedom the service project provided for their students. Many groups bonded over choosing a gift and enjoyed the responsibility of picking it out. Additionally, the creativity of the event acted as a nice break from the jam-packed orientation sessions.
When the subject of continuing service was brought up, most new Bruins were excited to serve at UCLA, especially with the large variety of opportunities that college will provide them, as compared to high school. Many are looking forward to working in after-school programs with children, volunteering at hospitals, and beautifying Los Angeles through community gardening projects. While some were hesitant about their time commitments, many of the new Bruins understood the need for UCLA to give back to the community. These Bruins were proud that UCLA has touched so much of the diverse Los Angeles community. New Student Advisors commented that this project encouraged students to inquire about service at the hospital in order to later go and visit their star. This project opened the door to service for this new generation of students and helps to solidify their dedication to the True Bruin Value of Service.
For more information on New Student and Transition Programs’ summer project, visit http://www.newstudents.ucla.edu/firstyearstudents.htm#volunteer
Special thanks to Yassaman Erfani, Ashley Gomez, Kenny Pyle, Millie Chang, John Beutter, Alex Tran, Antoinette Cain, Zachary Robinson, and Jessica Gonzalez for speaking with the UCLA Volunteer Center.