Student Speak: Giving back to the community

Service projects aren’t just beneficial for the recipients — they also allow Tech students to leave campus and meet interesting people and get to see and explore other areas of Atlanta.

“I volunteered as the manager of the concession stand for the North Metro Miracle League. It made me feel like I could contribute to people’s wellbeing without being a professional,” said Joey Benamy, a second-year CE major.

Other students choose to join service-oriented organizations in order to constantly have opportunities to volunteer with a set group of people. “I joined [Omega Phi Alpha] because I wanted a chance to meet girls who like doing service and having fun as much as I do,” said Laurel Street, a first-year INTA major.

Omega Phi Alpha is a service sorority open to all girls on campus. “I’ve volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club. Upcoming projects include volunteering at a local furniture bank that makes furniture accessible to low-income families and helping with the AIDS memorial quilt,” Street said.

Another important part of service lies with those who organize the projects and encourage other students to take part.

“I plan projects with contacts I’ve gained online or through past experiences. Last semester, a couple of sisters and I took part in finishing the construction of a house in the Bankhead neighborhood,” said Katie Flint, Director of Community Service for Alpha Phi and a third-year STaC major.

“I’ve gone on Trailbazer trips, which involve restoring nature trails while hiking through the woods,” said Trisha Long, a first-year ISyE major.

Service can even involve leaving the country. A Tech organization, GT Trailblazers, organizes alternative spring breaks. For some students, however, a week or two isn’t enough.

“I’m going to Africa this summer to teach kids English,” said Taylor Donnell, a first-year ChBE major. “It’s part of the army’s mission to develop soldiers that are more aware of other cultures so that the army knows I’m not just learning about war, I’m learning about other people and how to best represent the US in front of them.”

Regardless of where you are, or who you’re helping, philanthropy evokes joy and compassion from within.