Southern hosts first Community Service Emphasis Week

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From Sept. 9 to Sept. 12, dozens of nonprofits occupied the student center at lunchtime in an attempt to find students for internships, jobs or service learning credit. Despite the project occurring for the first time, it will become an annual event.

Behind the scenes, Christian Service Director Jennifer Carter worked to bridge the gap between experience-seeking students and real-world companies through this week-long event. One of her core beliefs is that volunteer service, combined with superior academics, can be utilized to impress potential employers.

“I want our students to know that it is not just random opportunities,” Carter said. “When you partner up with a nonprofit, and you do something long-term, you’re getting a real life experience with someone who can open doors for you.”

The expo featured various nonprofits ranging from nursing homes to soccer teams to elementary schools. According to Carter, if there is a specific field or area a student is interested in, there is most likely a nonprofit in the desired field who is searching for a student to fill a position. 

“Community service is touching someone’s life,” freshman Miranda Delgado said. “Some people have so little and are suffering, [but] we are able to make a difference in those people’s lives.”

In addition to the nonprofits, Southern hosted former Miss Tennessee Christine Williamson who spoke at Thursday’s convocation about her experience with service. Her presentation emphasized the importance of service. 

“Each and every one of us can serve in the ways we see fit,” Williamson said. “I think that’s really important when you’re choosing something to be involved with: showing people why you care.”

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