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Before First-Year Orientation begins Friday, 33 first-year students are beginning their Lafayette experience by participating in the Landis Community Outreach Center’s annual Pre-Orientation Service Program (POSP). Since Monday, students have been serving in one of three camps led by past POSP student volunteers.

“In addition to the goals of meeting community needs and engaging our students in worthwhile service activities, we hope also to provide the first-year participants with a great experience that will allow them to get to know Lafayette, Easton, and each other before most of their classmates arrive for orientation,” says POSP adviser Dan Ruch.

The Kids in the Community (KIC) camp has been a Lafayette tradition since three students founded it in 1995, and it is consistently among the programs that draw the greatest volunteer interest and commitment. This year, 17 first-year students will mentor elementary and middle school children from Easton Housing Authority neighborhoods as part of the “Celebrating the World” themed camp. Under the direction of chemistry major Sarah Kahn ’06 (Wellesley, Mass.), they are providing fun and safe academic enrichment, arts and crafts, and various recreational activities this week.

Chemical engineering major Samira Fowler ’07 (Dingmans Ferry, Pa.) and international affairs and French double major Dan Martini ’07 (Chappaqua, N.Y.) are assisting Kahn in running KIC camp. Staff members include: Samantha Alvino ’08 (Bensalem, Pa.), economics & business and Spanish double major Andrew Bartlett ’06 (Florissant, Mo.), chemical engineering major Meredith Burrell ’08 (New Rochelle, N.Y.), biology major Jillian Carinci ’08 (Wilmington, Del.), electrical and computer engineering major Emily Frank ’08 (Bedford, Mass.), economics and business major Bradley Knepper ’08 (Branchburg, N.J.), psychology major Corey Kosydar ’08 (Greentown, Pa.), international affairs major Lauren Moulder ’08 (Eden Prairie, Minn.), biology major Eugene Netupsky ’08 (New York, N.Y.), and mathematics major Joanna Norelli ’08 (Langhorne, Pa.).

Habitat for Humanity has 10 first-year students from Lafayette teaming with other area college groups to assist in various building phases for projects in the Lehigh Valley. The strong Lehigh Valley chapter of Habitat and continuous projects in the area make the program a popular service opportunity each year. Biology major Angie Boyd ’06 (York, Pa.) is directing Lafayette’s efforts this summer with assistance from neuroscience major Kelly Hess ’08 (Prospect Park, N.J.).

This summer marks the first year that Lafayette is partnering with Firth Youth Center, an after-school center for children in Phillipsburg, N.J. Lafayette gathered six first-year students under the leadership of physics major Jon Farrar ’07 (Alexandria, Va.) to plan and staff the final week of Firth’s summer day camp.

The Landis Center hopes to make first-year students aware of the many service opportunities available to them during their time at Lafayette. There is typically a high percentage of POSP participants who commit to some form of community service throughout their college years. Last year, about 85 percent of POSP first-year participants chose to volunteer in their first college semester.

For more information on POSP or other Landis Center opportunities, contact the office at x5553.

Categorized in: Students