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For the Media

14,000 Hours of Community Service from 640 Students in Three Days

American University Freshman connect to local community through service experience

WHO:    640 American University freshmen

WHAT:  Spending their first week in Washington, D.C. volunteering at a broad network of community-based organizations, global and national non-profits and local schools

WHERE:    40 sites across the District of Columbia

WHEN:  Tuesday, Aug. 18 to Thursday, Aug. 20; start times vary for each site

DETAILS:  Selected sites are open to media visits. Please contact Maralee Csellar, AU’s
Univ. Communications Office, at 202-885-5952 or to
coordinate a visit to one of the sites.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 18, 2009)—Before classes begin, 640 American University students will contribute more than 14,000 hours of community service by canvassing neighborhoods with opinion surveys, preparing meals, cleaning parks, and working with children and senior citizens at more than 40 sites across the Washington, D.C. area as part of the university’s 19th annual Freshman Service Experience (FSE).

Some of the sites where students will volunteer include:

  • Latino Federation of Greater Washington—bilingual students to conduct community organizing efforts around Columbia Heights Metro and in Wards 4 and 5.  
  • Rosemount Center (bilingual head start program)— assist teachers in the classroom, paint classrooms, office filing;
  • National Mall and Memorial Parks—help beautify the national parks by repairing mesh fencing on the Mall near the monuments;
  • Emmanus Services for the Aging—pack and deliver groceries for the seniors; engage in activities with seniors at the recreation center;

The program’s 2009 theme, “Our Home, Our D.C.” aims to introduce AU’s approximately 1,500 new students to the city they will call home for the next four years: Washington, D.C. The program started in 1990 with only 30 students.  

The Freshman Service Experience brings together incoming students and upperclassmen student mentors to encourage AU’s strong foundation of public service. The program quickly immerses students into the AU and Washington, D.C., communities while helping them make friends before classes begin on Aug. 24.

Also this week, students and faculty at the Washington College of Law will participate in the school’s 7th annual In My Backyard (IMBY) service day devoted to public service involvement in the local Washington, D.C. neighborhoods.  

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.