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Winter Edition
Volume 100, Number 3

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Philadelphia Campus students volunteer with local community members to clean up Fisher Park (continued)

Thoughts on serving in the city

Timothy Peterson, director of the Philadelphia Campus

"My time at Messiah College Philly Campus is the first time I have lived in a city for more than a couple of weeks at a time. I spent some time during high school in New York City, painting an elementary school in the Bronx and volunteering at a homeless shelter.

My experience volunteering in Philadelphia has been very different from my other volunteer work experiences. While we were working we were joined by members of the community to who dedicated their time to cleaning up the park. They worked to give something back to the community that they had grown up in, and to make the park a suitable place for the children of the neighborhood to play. This experience foreshadowed the rest of my time so far in Philadelphia. I have never seen a community work harder to better its living conditions than the communities of North Philadelphia. I have also been working, along with several other students, at the Norris Square after school program that watches after a few dozen elementary and middle school students that live in a neighborhood that borders Kensington. The women who operate the program are accompanied by older students who volunteer their time to watch the younger ones and give them a better opportunity for success. I have come to respect the people from this area a great deal as a result of my community service experiences.

I think that the highlight of my day was the opportunity that it afforded me to get to know the people that I was working with. I had some great conversations with the people around me and it was a very memorable experience for me."

— Phil Hobbes '10, Business administration major

Student volunteers

"Through this experience (my first experience in an urban environment), I learned that there are definitely people who

are devoted to this city and it's care. It was really encouraging to see people willing to take time to maintain the park. I did, however, also realize that the community as a whole does not respect the area like people around Messiah do. While I was happy to see people willing to help, it was very eye opening to see the pollution and defilement of the area that happens far too often.

I think the highlight was talking to the man who was heading up my groups cleaning efforts. While it was mildly obvious that he was accustomed to addressing a younger crowd, his enthusiasm and knowledge of nature and Philadelphia were evident. He showed such stewardship the whole day and was always encouraging."

—Emily Cope '10, arts management major

Students serve in the community  


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