Seton Hall students value public service

In its seventh year at Seton Hall, surveys show Public Service Month has both influenced and rewarded students for commitment to community service.

According to Amie Donahue, chair of the Public Service Month committee, 100 percent of students surveyed indicated the programs offered by Public Service Month caused them to believe service to the community is an important part of their life’s calling.

Student attendance at the events was close to last year. The most popular events were Raise Your Glass: A Closer Look at Bullying through Awareness, Support and Empowerment and the Government and Non-Profit Career Fair, according to the surveys, which were collected by Donahue.

Detective William Lynch, a Seton Hall alumni from the New Brunswick Police Department, and Spring Lake Superintendent Patricia Wright spoke at the Raise Your Glass event to provide information and advice on bullying in the classroom.

In the Do It Just program, students learned they can do one or two years of volunteer service after graduation, make a difference and get paid as well, according to Donahue.

Freshman Milvi Saarna attended the Do It Just program to learn more about non-profit opportunities. She met with volunteers from City Year, which “unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time service,” according to their website.

“They shared their own personal experiences and opinions on what it’s like, and they love it,” she said. “Listening to them made me realize that although I want to go into the non-profit sector internationally, teaching kids at the local level could be a rewarding first experience.”

According to Donahue, talking to those with firsthand community service experience can influence a person’s opinion towards volunteering.

“When you get to talk one on one with someone that is engaged in serving others, you begin to consider what you can do yourself,” Donahue said.

Public Service Month’s Servant Leader Awards honored students who exemplify the ideals of servant leadership on and off-campus and were presented on Feb. 22.

This year’s Student Servant Leader Award recipients were Thomas Capretta, Alyssa Clemente and Nicholas Frimpong. Student Servant Leader Honorable Mention was awarded to Kerry Magro, Kristin Podsiadlik and Amanda Risner.

According to Michelle Peterson, director of the Division of Volunteer Efforts, selection of award winners was based on several criteria that showed commitment to service, application of skills and learning from the service experience.

The DOVE sponsored Public Service Month food drive collected a significant amount of food throughout campus during the month of February to donate to a food pantry in West Orange, N.J., according to Peterson.

Charlotte Lewis can be reached at

Author: Staff Writer

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