UNH's First-Year Students
Connect with Their New Community
Public Service Plays an Important Role in Their Adjustment to College Life
Contact: Lori Gula
UNH Media Relations
Sept. 15, 2003
EDITORS: First-year students will be available to discuss
their public service experiences at UNH, at the Mill Pond Cleanup
Project from 9 to 11 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 20.
DURHAM, N.H. -- Juliet Tarantino of Albany, N.Y., has been a member
of the Durham and University of New Hampshire communities for less
than a month, but she is already making a difference in the community.
Tarantino was among 34 first-year students who came to campus
a week early as part of the PrOVES Pre-Orientation Volunteer Experience
in Service. Each fall, dozens of first-year students begin their
college career at UNH a week before their classmates, as part of
the service education program called PrOVES.
However, Tarantino’s work in Durham did not end with the
start of school. Like many of her PrOVES teammates, she is continuing
her community service work and will be among a group of students
who will assist with the Mill Pond Cleanup Saturday, Sept. 20,
Students will help clean up Mill Pond from 9 to 11 a.m. Mill Pond
is located off Route 108 toward Newmarket. Mill Pond Road is on
the right across the street from the Three Chimneys Inn. The cleanup
is part of a larger, communitywide event, the 7th Annual Oyster
River Cleanup, organized by UNH’s Office of Sustainability.
“I just wanted to keep doing community service. I met a
lot of great people in it. I think a lot of people are coming back
because they really enjoyed the work and being together,”
Now in its second year, PrOVES is a collaboration of the First-Year
Programs Office and UNH’s Partnership for Social Action.
It was created last year to introduce community service and leadership
to first-year students. This year, the students bonded and wanted
to stay together as a group to continue their public service.
“They all felt that first week made a difference in their
adjustment to campus and feeling comfortable in the community.
They became such a cohesive group in their week of community service
that we thought the Mill Pond Project would be a nice segue to
continue volunteering in the community as a group,” PrOVES
Coordinator Elisa Hankenson says. “So much press is given
to a few students who behave in ways that we all don’t appreciate.
These students are stepping up and saying, ‘We are now citizens
of Durham and we take pride on our town.’ ”
In addition to the Mill Pond Project, several students also have
continued to work on projects they started during their first week
experience. Those projects include landscaping with period plant
materials at the historic John Paul Jones House in Portsmouth,
organizing a Senior Olympics for the adult day care program at
the Homemakers of Strafford County, trail maintenance at the Sandy
Point Discovery Center in Stratham, assisting the Durham Main Street
project in painting murals depicting the history of Durham, and
logging names from gravestones in the Durham cemetery into a database
that will be available online to residents of Durham.
“It was a really great opportunity to come to campus early
and see the different cities around here and get acquainted with
the area,” Tarantino said. “I was really satisfied
with the experience, and I enjoyed the work. We did some hard work.”