St. Edward’s joins UT in community service

On Feb. 22, St. Edward’s University joined the University of Texas at Austin for the third consecutive year at the annual “The Project” service project. The Project is coordinated by UT students to engage approximately 1,000 community members in charitable acts around Austin.

“I love participating in The Project because it’s one of the largest service projects in Austin,” Gabriela Ferreiro, a S.E.R.V.E. 1-Day coordinator for Campus Ministry’s Office of Community Engagement, said. “They have participants from all over Austin, so it’s great that St. Ed’s can be represented as well.”

This year’s event, Project 2014, marked the 15th anniversary of the event; however, it also coincided with another tradition: St. Edward’s Homecoming and Parents’ Weekend.   

The event landed on the same afternoon as the Homecoming barbecue and tailgate, causing coordinators to worry whether or not they would find enough students to register for the event, according to Ferreiro.

“We still end up getting a really good number,” Ferreiro said. “We’re pretty consistent with the people who show up to our events, and we had a lot of participants come back from last year.”

One of these returning participants was Jana Soares, who had a role as a Team Lead, leading a group of students through the service project.

“I participated in Project 2013 last year, and I knew I wanted to do it again,” Soares said. “In the end we still had a really good turnout, and everyone had a great time.”  

Project 2014 had service opportunities set up in 23 Austin locations, and St. Edward’s students volunteered at two, sending 55 volunteers to Sanchez Elementary School and 25 to the Pan Am Parks and Rec Center.

“I’m just really glad that our students got to interact with UT students since we were all there for the same thing,” said Ferreiro. “It was just a beautiful thing to see everyone come together for service.”

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