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Community Service Day gives students a chance to pay it forward

University of Kansas Medical Center students marked the start of the 2022 fall semester by volunteering for six area organizations

Smiling student sits at table working on project
Courtney Goetz, a student in the University of Kansas School of Health Professions, volunteers at Young Women on the Move as part of Community Service Day. The pandemic suspended the philanthropic occasion for a few years, but the day was reintroduced in 2022.

More than 170 new students at the University of Kansas Medical Center volunteered their time to nonprofit organizations serving the greater Kansas City area.

Students in KU School of Medicine had the opportunity to give back at various points during the school’s orientation week July 25-29, and students entering KU School of Health Professions and KU School of Nursing centered their efforts on Aug. 18.

Community Service Day, once a tradition for students to give back to the community and start off the school year, had not been held since 2019 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was our first year back giving all students an opportunity to get out into the community,” said Ryan Gove, director of student life.

Student: Courtney Goetz (pictured top of page)

Enrolled: School of Health Professions, physical therapy

Organization benefited: Young Women on the Move

Volunteer activity: “We assisted with cleaning up their church after they hosted a six-week summer camp for middle and high school girls. Cleanup included organizing and sorting materials and art projects from the camp. We also assisted in preparing materials for healthy relationship workshops.”

“I enjoyed getting to donate my time to the community as well as meeting other young health professionals outside of my discipline.”

Student turned around in chair. smiling

Student: Lily Burnham

Enrolled: School of Nursing

Organization benefited: Young Women on the Move

Volunteer activity: “I (too) helped YWOM prepare supplies for upcoming lessons. One example is how to process and understand a positive experience versus a negative experience (or one that could be either), which is what I'm organizing in this picture. 

“I also made the bottles of water and glitter in the background, which helps teach the lesson of new emotions. They are to symbolize what your brain looks like normally – clear water  –  and when you're attracted to someone  – shaken, the glitter swirls around.”

“I chose this organization because I had never heard of them before volunteering, and I was drawn to their mission of teaching young girls leadership and teamwork skills, how to process emotions and how to have healthy relationships with others and themselves.”

Young man holding furniture in foreground, women in background of photo

Student: Christopher Libert (middle, pictured with fellow nursing students Zakirra Hike, Anaiya Singletary, Diana Riegg and Erin Fitzpatrick, left to right)

Enrolled: School of Nursing

Organization benefited:

Hillcrest Transitional Housing

Volunteer activity: “We helped move items from storage to set up and clean the youth community room. We also assisted with painting one of the offices and cleaning a recently vacated room so that it will be ready for another resident to move in.”

“I enjoyed getting to know and work alongside my fellow nursing students while doing something positive in the community. It was amazing to see how dedicated and caring the staff at Hillcrest were, and they were a pleasure to work with.”

Students also helped out at these organizations in 2022:

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