Service to humanity is a cornerstone of the Mercer experience. In fact, two out of three students participate in a service-learning experience while they’re here. If there’s a cause you care about or an area where you want to serve, we’ve got an opportunity to help you put purpose to your ideas. Here are just a few of the ways you can serve once you’re on campus…
MLK Day of Service – Dr. King said, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.” In that spirit, each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, students participate in a morning of service activities in the community before gathering for the MLK Jr. Memorial March from the Mercer campus to the Macon-Bibb Government Center.
Service-Learning Courses – Some instructors use service-learning as a tool to teach their course content, even in subjects like accounting, psychology, and political science. Through integration of a service experience in the course curriculum, students gain a better understanding of course objectives and civic engagement through personal development.
Neighborhood Involvement – In partnership with Macon-Bibb County, Mercer empowers students to serve the residents of local neighborhoods near campus. Students have led projects in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood to clean up a cemetery, start a community garden, and tutor in the neighborhood’s public school.
Service Scholars – Each year, a select group of first-year students in the Honors Program is chosen to become Mercer Service Scholars for their demonstrated commitment to service and leadership as well as outstanding academic performance. Service Scholars become leaders on campus and graduate with an array of skills and experiences that will distinguish them from their peers.
MerServe – A student-led service-leadership board, MerServe offers students the opportunity to plan, coordinate, and implement service and community engagement projects. These events include monthly Service Saturdays and the annual Be a Good NeighBEAR event.
Service Saturdays – Sponsored by MerServe, monthly Service Saturdays provide the chance to try out different types of community service and to discover what most interests you. Whether working at the local food bank, cleaning up a neighborhood, or helping with a housing project, you’ll find something that’s right for you. All you have to do is sign up and show up for a Saturday morning of service.
Be a Good NeighBEAR – Mercer’s biggest service day of the year, Be a Good NeighBEAR is organized by students through MerServe in conjunction with multiple partner organizations, equipping Bears to take action and serve their community. This year’s event was the largest in University history, mobilizing approximately 800 volunteers working on service projects in 20 different locations!
Lights On Afterschool – Through this celebration of afterschool programs in Macon-Bibb County, students organize activities during an afterschool festival at a local elementary school.
Tutoring – Help children in the community develop the skills they need to succeed in school by volunteering as a tutor at a local elementary school. You may find that the lessons you learn while working with these students are just as valuable as the knowledge you impart to them.
Mercer On Mission – This signature program is the highest expression of our desire to create a better world. Mercer On Mission sends students around the world for a one-of-a-kind study-abroad and service-learning experience that transforms the lives of students and those they serve through academic instruction, cultural immersion, and meaningful service.
But these aren’t the only ways you can serve at Mercer. Groups of students often pioneer their own service opportunities. For instance, members of the Mercer football team volunteer each week with Backpack Buddies, a community initiative that provides food for more than 1,200 elementary school students who would otherwise go hungry on weekends without access to school lunches. Watch this video to learn about their service experience.
For more information about how to serve at Mercer, check out the Center for Community Engagement.
How will you serve when you join Bear Territory?