Full Circle: Students Begin and End College Careers With Service

Seniors Terrin Wurdeman and Jessica States remember rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty the very first weekend of their college careers.

Senior Service DayThey were both assigned to landscaping projects that benefitted a local service agency. They joined over 400 other classmates that year for Nebraska Wesleyan’s annual Lend-A-Hand to Lincoln, which traditionally sends first year students throughout Lincoln to volunteer at dozens of non-profit organizations.

Wurdeman and States’ volunteering experience came full circle recently with the Senior Service Project.

“When we gave back to Lincoln as freshmen, it was a way of becoming introduced to our new home for the next four years,” said Wurdeman, who will graduate May 15 with a degree in business administration. “Now that our four years are coming to an end, we think it’s a great idea to give back to the place that we have called home.”

On Saturday, May 8, members of the senior class dispersed throughout Lincoln to help with the United States Postal Service’s annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Seniors joined mail carriers and loaded several pounds of non-perishable food items that were eventually distributed to the Food Bank of Lincoln.

“Two things that we have been taught since day one at Nebraska Wesleyan is the importance of a family atmosphere and giving back to the communities in which we are a part,” said States, who will also graduate May 15 with degrees in business administration and communication.

This is the first year for the Senior Service Project. The Senior Class Council —whose duties include raising funds for a class gift and planning senior class events — came up with the idea.

“We wanted to add a service day because we knew it would leave a lasting impact,” said States.

So on their final Saturday together before graduation, the seniors walked mail routes and collected food.

Wurdeman and States recalled other service projects they participated in during their college careers: cleaning a community center, cleaning storage units at the Capital Humane Society, sorting toys at the Salvation Army, and doing yard work at a housing development.

Both hope the Senior Service Project becomes a tradition similar to Lend-A-Hand to Lincoln.

“Lincoln has been a great place to live for the past four years and it just feels great to take some time to give back,” said Wurdeman.

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