Dickinson Law students kick off academic year with community service

Inside of a warehouse at Project SHARE of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 30 students of the first year class of Penn State’s Dickinson Law are volunteering to distribute food items in their newly adopted community of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. It’s a balmy 82 degrees outside and the first week of classes has just ended, but instead of diving into books, each student is managing a station at Project SHARE’s food pantry, helping recipients fill a box with over 50 nutritious food items. Each box will provide enough groceries to last a family of four approximately one week.

First year students are introduced to the culture of service at Dickinson Law early on, and this year’s class is no different. The students making up the Class of 2018 are performing volunteer work as part of the school’s day of service.

Professor Michael Mogill knows how important volunteer experiences are to both Dickinson Law students and the Carlisle community. For a number of years, he’s served on the board of Project SHARE, and frequently volunteers at the warehouse and during farm stand distribution hours.

“Volunteering with organizations like Project SHARE helps students get a better understanding of the community in which they live and participate in a mission that restores and preserves the dignity of those less fortunate,” said Mogill. “Through the day of service, students will experience the joy and warmth of helping others, while striking a balance in their own personal law school lives.”

Yolanda Ingram, dean of student services at Dickinson Law, is proud of the class’ commitment to service and looking forward to their accomplishments over the next three years. “Serving others is a key component of leadership – actively participating and engaging with your community. It’s fantastic to see so much dedication from these future leaders and professionals.”

The day of service is part of the Law School’s annual Welcome Week. The Class of 2018 is the first class since the American Bar Association granted the law school separate accreditation from its sister school in University Park, and members are marking their mark in the community already.

“It’s just as important for students to understand that to be a part of a community you live in, you have to give back,” Ingram said. “Each year, we’re hoping to build on the success of the previous year and invite our 2L and 3L students get involved in this day of service. I would love to have our entire school serving the entire community on this day.”

Students and faculty at Dickinson Law are very involved in the community, through participation in clinics and internships that allow use of legal skills gained in the classroom. The opportunity to volunteer at Project SHARE gave the students a chance to see who they were helping with their community service, according to Ingram.

Project SHARE provides food assistance to more than 1,000 families each month; nearly 20 percent of whom are seniors and 30 percent are children. The organization is located in Carlisle and relies on volunteers, community donations, and food drives to service the community. Distribution hours at the warehouse and the farm stand can be found online at www.projectshare.net.

Last Updated August 25, 2015