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Service With a Twist

StudentsWhat do cleaning tagged murals (graffiti) under a bridge, mulching blackberry bushes, and painting hallways have in common?

They're all part of CityQuest, SPU's day of community service.

A Day of Service

Since the early 1990s, new and returning Seattle Pacific students, student leaders, and faculty and staff members have participated in CityQuest.

A highlight of Welcome Week, the event takes place the Saturday before Autumn Quarter begins. (That's September 26 this year.)

It's a great opportunity for freshmen to work alongside community service groups, agencies, churches, and individuals around the greater Seattle area to make a difference in the community for that day.

Diverse Activities

Boeing Employees Credit Union sponsors the event, which kicks off with a rally and worship on campus in Martin Square. Following the morning festivities, more than 800 participants load onto 19 school buses and travel to locations all over the city.

While CityQuest is designed to introduce new students to the city, it also introduces them to ongoing volunteer opportunities they can participate in all year.

Freshman work together in their University Seminar groups (part of SPU's Common Curriculum) and often are paired with nonprofit organizations that fit the topic of their seminar. Examples include

  • Professor George Scranton's "From Page to Stage" students work at Taproot Theatre.
  • Professor Derek Wood's "Diseases, Plagues, and Pandemics" students serve at Seattle Children's Hospital, and are encouraged to return for the volunteer training.
  • Professor Misty Anne Winzenried's "Recess for Grown-Ups: Work, Play, and the Creative Process" students volunteer at the Fremont Abbey Arts Center.
  • Professor Stamatis Vokos' "Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?" USEM class put together science kits for the Seattle area P–12 Inquiry-Based Science Program.
  • Professor Darrell Allen's "From Anime to Rampaging Monsters: Intro to Japanese Pop Culture" class prepares food for Coffee Talk International Student Ministries Friday dinners and serves as conversation partners for international students.

Serious Fun

CityQuest is a fun way for students to develop relationships with peers and community leaders. But students take the experience seriously.

Danielle Link Richmond '10 is one example. Richmond participated in the Nature Consortium during CityQuest 2007. Since then she has returned five times with Latreia to continue the work at the West Duwamish Greenbelt.

Read more about Danielle's story and how she says CityQuest kicked off a newfound interest and a new spiritual maturity for her.

And in the meantime, encourage your student to get the most out of CityQuest 2009. Who knows where a day spent connecting and laughing with peers while mulching or painting in the local community will lead.


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