Students give back to community

KAREN RICKETTS/THE ARKA TECH: Haeleigh Long, Maria Vlaskina and Macarena Sedano Acosta raked and bagged leaves while volunteering for Green and Gold Give Back.
KAREN RICKETTS/THE ARKA TECH: Haeleigh Long, Maria Vlaskina and Macarena Sedano Acosta raked and bagged leaves while volunteering for Green and Gold Give Back.
KAREN RICKETTS/THE ARKA TECH: Haeleigh Long, Maria Vlaskina and Macarena Sedano Acosta raked and bagged leaves while volunteering for Green and Gold Give Back.

On Nov. 12, approximately 250 Arkansas Tech students spent their Saturday morning volunteering at various locations throughout the Russellville community as part of the Green and Gold Give Back initiative.

Coordinator of Leadership and Service Kara Johnson said that the purpose of Green and Gold Give Back is to provide students with an opportunity to connect with the community as well as show the community that Tech has a large population of students that are willing to give and help out in anyway they can.

Arkansas Tech students work with a variety of local organizations including: The Salvation Army, the Dardanelle Chamber of Commerce, Dardanelle Elementary School, Paint the Valley, Equestrian Zone, ARVAC Food Bank, Headstart/Save the Children and Center for Service Learning.

“We also had about 10 community sites; homes that needed yard work, windows washed or gutters cleaned, things like that,” Johnson said. “We also had trash pick-ups along the highway, Hickey Park and at Bona Dea trails.”
Johnson said it’s a group effort to making the event a successful one.

“It’s important to know some of the community members,” Jonson said. “I know Mayor Horton helped us with getting the leaves picked up at the end of the day and making sure they got deposited in the right area. The Alumni Office got us connected with community members that needed some help and we had breakfast donated from Chartwells, which was a huge help.”

Samuel Leek, a sophomore from Maumelle, said he spent his morning helping out with landscaping by raking and bagging leaves.

“It’s crazy. Usually we would be sleeping this early on a Saturday, but we decided that there is something great out here for us to do; something we can do to serve the community,” Leek said.

Several of the Arkansas Tech athletics teams took part in Green and Gold Give Back.

Senior Tennis player Vandella Suico, from The Woodlands, Texas, said it was overwhelming at first, but a lot of fun.

“When we first got to the house we were really overwhelmed by the amount of work we had to do,” Suico said.

There was a lot of land and a lot of leaves to be raked up but we had the volleyball team and members of Kappa Alpha come help so the time went by a lot faster. And we made connections with people we normally wouldn’t get to talk to.”

Sucio said the team loves helping the community and doing community service.

“It’s a big deal for Tech athletics to really get involved because we don’t just do sports and school; we want to be involved in the community as well,” Suico said. “We feel like this event is a great way to get involved and help.”