New SAIS students participate in community service projects across D.C.

The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies welcomed students to its Washington, D.C., campus for orientation last week and partnered with Serve DC to expand programming to include a SAIS Day of Service. More than 260 students participated in community service projects across the city while getting to know their classmates before the start of the academic year.

Students participated in projects at 12 local sites, with activities ranging from community gardening to tutoring and assisting at a local food bank. Projects took place at the Neighborhood Farm Initiative, the D.C. Office on Aging, the Washington Youth Garden, the Capital Area Food Bank, Reading Partners, Rock Creek Conservancy, the Ethiopian Community Center, Howard Community Garden, The Salvation Army, So Others Might Eat, the National Park Service, and the UDC-Garden of the Senses.

"Service is important because it puts you in other people's shoes," said Atishay Abbhi, a first-year Master of Arts candidate in the Energy, Resources and Environment program. "The most heartening thing is that you know that it is going to impact someone's life or community. You are doing it to better their lives."

Khorey Baker, director of student life at SAIS, emphasized the importance of student involvement in the community.

"One of the goals of the Office of Student Life is to create an environment that encourages students to be actively engaged in the classroom as well as the community," he said. "Hosting a day of service to kick off the school year introduces this concept to students and provides an impetus for continued involvement in the community."

Throughout the year, many SAIS students remain active in the community through clubs and organizations such as SAIS Corps Volunteer Club.

"Service in the community is important because it encourages people to invest in the welfare of the people and their environment," said Alan Causey, an incoming Master of International Public Policy candidate in the Strategic Studies program.

Posted in Student Life