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August 28, 2017

Guilford Serves 2017

The Guilford experience is about living out our Core Values, and we recommit to that dedication each year by immersing our first-year students in the Greensboro community through our annual Day of Service. Students partnered with nonprofit groups across the community to address a variety of needs, from food insecurity, to animal welfare, to sustainability and more. 

I urge you to open your eyes and your heart as you begin to consider how your unique gifts can be shared to create positive change

Jane K. Fernandes

More than 350 first-year students gathered on campus, at a bright and early 8 a.m, for a kickoff to energize and encourage them. 

“Today, you have an important chance to deepen your sense of personal opportunity and responsibility in affecting that reality,” said President Jane Fernandes. “I urge you to open your eyes and your heart as you begin to consider how your unique gifts can be shared to create positive change.” 

Timothy Johnson, Assistant Director for Student Leadership and Engagement, said he believes that the impact of Day of Service is seen within ourselves, as well as in our community. “Day of Service is a way of not only building community for the College but with the Greensboro community. It is a time to give back and also see the impact you are making on those around you. Truly a humbling experience if approached correctly!”

Guilford tells you early on that they’re all about community, and today really showed that.

John Kerr '21

And our students approached it with excitement, open hearts and passion for Guilford’s mission. 

John Kerr '21 from Kernersville, N.C., took on the role of team hype-man for the day, keeping his group excited with cheers on the van ride to their service site. He was happy to learn that Guilford isn’t all talk when it comes to service and community. “I loved [Jane’s] remarks. It made me feel really good knowing that she’s not just a president in title, that she really cares about us. Guilford tells you early on that they’re all about community, and today really showed that.”

Autumn Thomas '21 of Reidsville, N.C., felt inspired by the Day of Service, particularly as a way to kick off this new chapter of her life. “A day of service is a great way to give back to the community,” she said, passing a loaf of bread over to her classmates as they filled up a box for the Out of the Garden Project, a local nonprofit group that works to address food insecurity in High Point. “It represents this fresh, new start we get as college students.”

Student groups were led by their First Year Experience (FYE) instructors and peer mentors. By partnering new Guilfordians with students and staff, the College further underscores the importance of community and of illustrating our commitment to our values. 

“A lot of our students aren’t from Greensboro, so connecting them with this community and what’s important to it and to Guilford is a great opportunity,” explained Jason Hill, Community Director and Student Success Mentor, as he led his team at the Guilford County Animal Shelter. “Everything they do in college will connect to the larger community, so Day of Service gives them that early insight into that connection.” 

Irving Zavaleta Jimenez, Assistant Director of the Multicultural Education Department and Latinx Community Coordinator, was as busy working as any of his FYE students were, carrying boxes of food to cars for families and serving as an interpreter. He stressed the importance of service as a real, live learning opportunity. 

“Day of Service is a way for Guilford students to get to know the community they are a part of and to understand the needs and challenges that the Piedmont faces in a more personal way. Instead of only talking about poverty or talking about classism, they can see it and work to address it.”