UMSL students volunteered their time Saturday morning to paint a mural at Jefferson Elementary School in the Normandy School Distirct. The project was one of several held throughout the district. The volunteer effort was the final event in a three-year, $420,000 grant received by UMSL from the Corporation for National and Community Service. (Photo by Danny Reise)

The threat of bad weather Saturday morning kept some volunteers away. But the people who did show up at the University of Missouri–St. Louis for the final community service project of the semester had plenty of enthusiasm.

Approximately 40 volunteers from UMSL picked up shovels, rakes and paintbrushes and dug gardens, painted murals in an elementary school and helped to beautify the front of an auto salvage business across from Normandy (Mo.) Senior High School. The UMSL group joined other community volunteers and staff from Beyond Housing and the Normandy School District.

It was the final project of a three-year Students of Service initiative funded by a $420,000 Learn and Serve America Higher Education grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service. The grant officially ends in July. More than 1,400 UMSL students have logged over 23,000 hours of volunteer work over the three years.

“UMSL’s Students of Service project and our collaboration with Beyond Housing’s 24:1 initiative, the Normandy School District and other community partners has had a significant impact on our campus and the community we serve,” said Kay Gasen, principal investigator for the grant. “We value the rich learning and service opportunities for our students. And the grant has allowed us to connect UMSL resources with key issues and priorities in our local communities.”

UMSL’s Student Government Association also joined Saturday’s effort with The Big Event, their annual community service project.

According to Ashlee Roberts, student services coordinator in the Office of Student Life, students will continue community service projects through the university program board.

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel

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Members of the Spring 2024 graduating class of the University of Missouri–St. Louis play Jenga during the annual New Grad Bash on Thursday.