New Baylor Students To Take "First Step" Into Community Aug. 19

Aug. 16, 2000

by Lori Scott Fogleman

More than 1,000 first-year Baylor University students will have an immediate opportunity to give something back to the Waco community on Saturday, Aug. 19, when they take part in First Step, a mass community service project sponsored by Baylor, the City of Waco, Keep Waco Beautiful and the Area Agency on Aging.

From 8 a.m. to noon, incoming freshmen, transfer students and Welcome Week staff members will work in the Applegrove neighborhood, which is located north of Martin Luther King Boulevard near Brooklyn Park in Waco. Students will be painting houses and landscaping yards, said Jim Cole, a Baylor senior from Wichita, Kan., and a Welcome Week staff co-chair.

"There's a need in the neighborhood and we have students who want to help," Cole said. "Of the homes we'll be working on, over half are owned by people who are over 65 and on fixed incomes, and many of the homes need work so they can pass city inspection. It's a chance for us to spend four hours to benefit someone else, have fun together and do good."

Students will meet at 8 a.m. in front of the Bill Daniel Student Center where buses will take them to their work areas. They will return to the student center at noon for lunch and a celebration of service.

Although First Step has been a vital part of Welcome Week since 1997, this is only the second time that students will work together in one general area, said Dub Oliver, director of student activities.

"Last year we were able to make a tremendous difference in one area as we cleared literally thousands of tons of brush and trash from the neighborhood," Oliver said. "The impact was incredible. The students were amazed to see what could happen when we focused our efforts to help others in the community."

First Step also introduces students to Steppin' Out, a Baylor tradition in which more than 2,500 students with various organizations and groups set aside one Saturday a semester to step out into the Waco community to assist with various service projects. Leaders says they hope that spirit of volunteerism and service-learning will continue to be part of students' lives after Baylor.

For more information, call the Welcome Week office at 710-3638 or visit their web site at .

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