First-year KCUMB students serve community during orientation week

Micah Wilkins
Northeast News
August 1, 2014

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KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Seth Bires and Jarret Gardner moved to Kansas City just a few days ago, and already they are out volunteering in the community.

Bires and Gardner are just two of 276 first-year students at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences wrapping up their orientation week. For the past 18 years, KCUMB has organized a service day during first year students’ orientation week, to get students out volunteering in the community.

“As medical students, it’s important for us to interact with underserved populations,” Bires said.

KCUMB first-year students, staff and faculty spent Thursday morning planting shrubs around the pond at Scuola Vita Nuova’s new building, cooking breakfast at the Ronald McDonald house and working in the KCUMB community garden. Students volunteered at a total of 14 sites, including the Don Bosco Center, Della Lamb Community Services, and Grace United Methodist Church.

“This is our neighborhood, our family,” Marc Hahn, KCUMB’s president, said. “KCUMB has been in the Northeast since its founding. We are a private university with a very public mission. As the university continues to grow and expand, as we do well, so does our neighborhood.”

The students worked mostly within the Northeast, and used the day as a way to get to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood and the organizations in the community.

“The university has a strong commitment to its neighborhood,” Annette Campbell, the director of KCUMB’s Score 1 for Health program, said. “Today helps them get familiar with the area.”

Including a service day in the student’s orientation introduces students off the bat to organizations and volunteer opportunities in the community. Many students volunteer on their own time, according to Campbell, and the KCUMB orientation service day is a good place for them to start.

“There’s that complete and continuous message of service,” Campbell said. “They have that seed embedded in them and they’re giving back.”

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