Freshmen volunteer to help fight hunger
About 200 Winston-Salem State University freshmen spent one of their first days on campus fulfilling part of the school’s creed – serving others.
The freshmen packaged 10,000 dehydrated meals last Friday as part of a week’s worth of orientation activities. The meals will be distributed around the world to those in need by the relief agency Stop Hunger Now.
Students worked in teams in the Campus Hall of the new Donald J. Reaves Student Activities Center, pouring measured cups of rice, soy and dried vegetables into bags that were then taken away by other volunteers to be packed.
The work went seamlessly after a quick tutorial from Stop Hunger Now’s Steve Deal. A gong was banged after every 1000th meal was completed. The freshmen prepared all 10,000 meals in well under an hour.
Career Development Services Director LaMonica Sloan’s department oversees volunteer service on campus. She said this was the first time a service project was included in “Ramdition” (the freshmen orientation program).
“Service is important,” she said. “It’s part of what we do here at Winston-Salem State University. Last year alone as an institution, the university completed over 59,000 hours of community service. So what better way to introduce this to our incoming students than have a program during their orientation week?”
She was encouraged that about 200 freshmen volunteered to take part, more than twice the number initially sought for the project.
“I’ve had so much done for me, so many people have helped me get to where I am, this is just a little way to give back,” Greg Mobley of Charlotte gave as his reason for volunteering.
He said seeing international poverty firsthand was also a motivating factor. He recently returned from a mission trip to South Africa, where he saw how the country’s poorest residents live.
The marketing major said he was drawn to WSSU by its tradition of equipping future entrepreneurs for success. He called his first week on campus “very productive.” He not only got acquainted with his new surroundings but signed on with the Renaissance Men, a campus male mentoring program.
Quanta Perry left his home in Raleigh to study criminal justice at “’SU.” Perry, who aspires to join a law enforcement SWAT team, had a stellar high school football career at Word of God Christian Academy, helping the Holy Rams claim two state championships. He’s hoping to land a walk-on position on WSSU’s championship-winning squad. Another goal is to become the first member of his family to earn a college degree.
“It’s been different being away from home, having to fend for yourself,” Perry said of his first week of college life. “I actually really like it … being your own man.”
Charlotte’s Jada Johnson also has academics and athletics on her mind. The honor student and Chancellor’s Scholarship recipient will play on the school’s acclaimed softball team. She plans to major in exercise science, with her sights on becoming either an occupational or physical therapist. She is already giving WSSU high marks.
“It’s great – meeting new people, coming out of your shell,” she said. “I love it; everyone’s so friendly.”
Arthia Harris of Henderson is also a Chancellor’s Scholar. The clinical lab science major said she’s quickly adapting to life on campus.
“It’s been new, different, interesting,” she said. “…I like the freedom.”
The freshmen and other WSSU students returned to classes on Monday.