Recently, 82 incoming freshmen at Georgia Southern University participated in the 2019 Building Undergraduate Involvement in Leadership Development (BUILD) program, coordinated by the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement (OLCE). The students performed 2,480 hours of community service throughout the program.
“The BUILD Program is an awesome opportunity for the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement to introduce our new Georgia Southern students to the Statesboro community,” Jodi Kennedy, OLCE Director, said. “The students who come to BUILD are interested in not only improving our local community, but also developing relationships with their peers and their new university.”
BUILD participants take part in a 5-day leader development and service program, where they volunteer each day with various community agencies and participate in a leadership education program in the evening. Students have the opportunity to meet other incoming students and build friendships to provide a support network.
“Incoming students learn about what it means to volunteer and serve, what their leadership style is, and how to grow as a leader,” Timothy Turner, BUILD Leader and rising junior, said. “The program allows students to have a solid network of students they know before they arrive to campus in the fall.”
Some of this year’s community service projects included helping build a home for Habitat for Humanity, clean and organize the Statesboro Food Bank, and help local teachers clean and arrange their classrooms at various schools, among other projects. A total of 1,150 students have participated in BUILD since its inception in 2006, resulting in 34,500 hours of community service.
“Through our service activities and intentional leadership curriculum, students are learning more about themselves and how they can use their personal talents to benefit those around them,” Kennedy said. “The BUILD program is a gateway for helping students discover where they want to leave their mark on the Statesboro and Georgia Southern University communities.”