Monday, September 1 2014, 10:05 AM CDT
Illinois College New Students Lend Helping Hand
From raking weeds to potting plants, hundreds of students from Illinois College are lending a helping hand to the community as part of the school's annual service blitz.
Leaving home and going to college for the first time can be a scary thing, but Illinois College in Jacksonville preps their first years in a unique way.
"This year we placed 341 faculty, students, transfer students, and international students at 16 locations throughout Jacksonville," said Lori Large Oldenettel, Coordinator of Engagement and Service at IC.
Sunday was the 21st Annual Service Blitz where hundreds of new students start their school year by giving back to the community.
"It just really starts to set a solid foundation for all of our first year students to get acclimated to the community," said Oldenettel.
While getting their hands dirty, they're also learning their way around and making connections.
"Hopefully they can build some long-term relations, some partnerships, for future internships, future jobs, future experiences, job references," said Oldenettel.
"We do take interns from Illinois College, so that's how we've met some of the interns who will work with us later this year," said Clare Lynd-Porter, the Executive Director of the Imagine Foundation.
They're also making new friends.
"One of the girls who was in my seminar class, we came to the same service blitz place, and we also had three other classes together, and now she's my roommate this year and we're like besties," said Miriam Reed, an IC sophomore and Connections Leader.
The organizations welcome the help, too.
"We are responsible for the upkeep so having these kids come is a huge help... because with yard work, it always grows back," said Lynd-Porter.
By the end of the day, the number of hours put in by the students might surprise you.
"Our students will give over 1,100 hours in just one day, back to the community," said Oldenettel.
Monday, the new students will have more welcome activities, another chance to connect before classes start Tuesday.