Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Introducing the Discovery Class of 2012!

The 2012-2013 school year has officially begun with the start of the Discovery Program! The Discovery Class of 2012 consists of 62 first-year students from all over the United States, some of which have never even been to New York City before. Over this five-day program, each student participates in various service projects that are related to their chosen discovery path: community empowerment, sustainable solutions, or social awareness.

The program started off great this past Saturday with students moving onto campus and saying good-bye to their families after dinner during our ribbon ceremony. Immediately following the ceremony, our upperclassmen Discovery Leaders introduced themselves to the students with their song and dance, “We’re Discovery and We Know It” set to LMFAO’s music! The rest of the night was devoted to everyone engaging in fun activities and getting to know each other. 
Sustainable Solutions path volunteering with the Bronx River Alliance.
 The first day of service proved to be a productive one! Our community empowerment groups helped prepare a local youth community center in Uniondale for the beginning of the school year, gave out food that would normally just be thrown out at the Hempstead train station with Food Not Bombs, and interacted with patients at the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Hope Lodge in Manhattan. Our sustainable solutions group helped eradicate invasive weeds at both the Bronx River Alliance and at the National Park Service’s Salt Marsh Restoration in Queens. Lastly, our social awareness group helped sort through the clothes from the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs' (MOVA) “Pinstripes and Wingtips” suit drive initiative.  Upon arriving back to campus, the students participated in a hunger banquet. This unique dinner gave students the opportunity to see how glaring economic disparities can be.
Social Awareness path in NYC after volunteering at MOVA
The second day of service has also been an industrious one! The community empowerment groups helped prepare and serve meals at the Mary Brennan INN and made encouragement cards at the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Hope Lodge. The students of the sustainable solutions group took an eco-tour through our own Hofstra campus, weeded and sowed the Netherlands Garden, and took a trip to the Crossroads Organic Farm in Malverne. Our social awareness group spent the day at Homes for the Homeless in Queens, where they helped with administrative duties and spent time in the childcare facility. After listening to a variety of campus-based evening speakers, students closed out their night with a trip to fitness center. Thanks for keeping it open especially for us!
Community Empowerment path making snacks for the patients at the ACS Hope Lodge
The Discovery Program still has two more days, and we’re positive they will be full of service, reflection, and fun!


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