Community Service is part of the fabric of The University of Georgia. Engagement, which includes Civic Engagement, is one of UGA’s Three Pillars of Success. Civil Engagement is any individual and collective action designed to make a difference in our communities. All student-athletes should be involve in serving our community because Athens is the place you call home for four (five, or six years) of your life. As an individual, you can make an impact on a life. Imagine what your team could do for the community. There are several reasons why it is important for you to be active in community service.
- Strengthens the community. By serving others, you improve the quality of the lives around you. It can be something as simple as volunteering at the Food Bank once every other month, or more long term such as mentoring an elementary school student for the year. Both of these acts support families and individuals in our community.
- Promotes personal growth and self-esteem. When we serve those less fortunate than ourselves or help those in need, we foster empathy and compassion. We also develop self-efficacy as we become more confident in our ability to complete tasks.
- Reduces stress and makes you into a more positive person. Volunteering interrupts period of tension-producing patterns by making you step outside of yourself to help others. This also creates feelings of joy, happiness, and optimism as you assist others.
- Provides professional experience. Serve in an area where you could see yourself potentially working. If you’re interested in marketing, volunteer to help a non-profit in its marketing efforts. If coaching is a potential career interest, volunteer at a local youth sport club. There are many ways to serve and gain experience at the same time. By working with a local organization, you may have access to resources you may not have had the opportunity to work with before.
- Encourages civic responsibility and an opportunity to give back. You are responsible to the community you call home. Communities are formed by a diverse group of individuals; each with their own unique gifts and skills they add to the culture of the community. As citizens, we should feel compelled to invest in those people and the resources our town has to offer.
UGA Athletics wants to encourage all of our student-athletes to participate in acts of community service. While we hope these acts are driven by goodwill of the heart, we also think it’s a good idea to have a record of your community service hours. There is a form on The Georgia Way where you can submit your hours and we will help you keep track.
In addition to making a difference in the lives of others, community service can help in resume building and applications for community service awards and scholarships. The Southeastern Conference has a friendly competition each year ranking the universities by their hours of community outreach. By submitting your hours, we will have a better count to submit to the SEC at the end of the school year. Serving the community and outscoring the competition. Everyone wins!