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Centennial Challenge Promotes Community Service

February 01, 2013

The Student Bar Association (SBA) is encouraging students, faculty, staff, and alumni to collectively perform 10,000 hours of community service throughout the centennial year.

Shaun Greer 2L, Nikki Griffin 1L, and Bridget Engle 1L volunteered with the Golden Gate Audubon Society at Golden Gate Park as part of the Centennial Challenge.

The Centennial Challenge, which launched in August, aims to provide meaningful assistance to communities in need.

"Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that 'everybody can be great, because everybody can serve,' and the Centennial Challenge is fundamentally about service,” said SBA President Jamal Anderson 3L. “It’s an opportunity to proactively celebrate our centennial and make a difference in the world around us, and that's what we came to law school to do.”

The Centennial Challenge comprises Service Saturdays organized by the SBA, service events organized by student groups, and service performed by individual students. The next event—a partnership between the Law In Motion Program and the SBA—will take place on Saturday, Feb. 9.

During Service Saturdays that have occurred since the beginning of the challenge, students have served food at a soup kitchen; volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul Society, one of the largest homeless shelters in San Francisco; worked as museum docents on family day at the Museum of African Diaspora; cleaned homes for people with disabilities in conjunction with Meals on Wheels; and performed habitat restoration for indigenous birds with the Golden Gate Audubon Society, among other activities.

There have been numerous volunteer events organized by student groups. For example, the Equal Justice Society worked with Amnesty International to contact and educate voters on Proposition 34. At a Labor and Employment Law Society event, USF law students served as referees and worked registration and concessions at a middle school basketball tournament. The La Raza Law Students Association volunteered at Canal Alliance helping prepare Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals applications.

As part of the Centennial Challenge, student groups have pledged to complete 100 hours of community service during the school year.

Since August, students have performed approximately 3,000 hours of service with 70 organizations around the Bay Area and across the state.