Cleaning, gardening, fixing up, or spending time with the elderly won't show up on a law school class syllabus, but those activities are nonetheless an integral part of CUA Law's long tradition of dedication to service.
Community Service Day, held on the final day of Orientation Week for the incoming class on August 18, drew an enthusiastic crowd of new students who dispersed out across northeast Washington, D.C., for a day of volunteerism and fellowship.
The day is intended to emphasize the importance of service and pro bono work that is instilled at CUA Law. Community Service Day also introduces students to their new surrounding community and gives students a chance to get to know each other before classes kick off.
There were opportunities for service at five local sites: St. Anthony Catholic School, Washington Yu Ying Public Charter School, the Armed Forces Retirement Home, Carroll Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and Ronald McDonald House Charities, all within a short drive of the Columbus School of Law.
Before they boarded busses to their respective sites, students had a chance to hear from Aoife Delargy, the Pro Bono Coordinator for the Law School. "I'm delighted to see so many of you embracing the Law School's mission of service today. The Pro Bono program is a success each year because of the time students put forth," Delargy said.
For the second year in a row, evening students also had a chance to participate in Community Service Day by sorting school supplies and packing backpacks for local children in need. The school supplies were donated by faculty, staff, and students and will be given to children at the Second Annual Back to School Carnival organized by Veda Rasheed (4E).
This year the Back to School Carnival has partnered with the Richard England Boys and Girls Clubhouse #14 and the Office of the Attorney General Child Support Division, and some of the school supplies will be delivered to children who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
Rasheed said handling the logistics for the Back to School Carnival has been challenging due to the increase in size, but she has also experienced more support. "I hope we have to work even harder next year to have an even bigger impact on our community."
Rasheed, who was selected as the Mid-Atlantic Law Student of the Year by The National Jurist magazine, said her drive has always come from wanting to help her community and the award affirmed her belief that students can make a difference now. "The award positively affirmed for me the power of now. I don't have to wait for a degree to make a change," Rasheed said.
As in past years, the students were joined by Law School faculty and staff.
Click here to view more pictures from CUA Law's community service day on Facebook.