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Record number of student-volunteers go Into the Streets

Matt Wolfson and Xiao Xu
Matt Wolfson '15 and Xiao Xu '15 at the Into the Streets kickoff event in Bailey Hall.
student cleaning
A student cleans a window on East State Street.

More than 1,300 Cornell students volunteered to go Into the Streets and work for 80 nonprofit and public organizations on the program’s 22nd annual day of service to greater Ithaca Oct. 26.

“Into the Streets is a huge resource for our school,” said Pete St. John, parent of an East Ithaca Preschool student. “Like many other agencies in town, we rely on the help of these students each year to support our program. East Ithaca Preschool is the oldest cooperative preschool in the nation, and we run on a very tight budget to make tuition affordable to everyone in the area. Having students from the Public Service Center and Into the Streets ensures that we can operate the school in the best possible way.”

One of more than 40 programs of the Cornell Public Service Center, Into the Streets is a student-directed program that focuses on promoting social responsibility and commitment to public service among college students. The two-day service experience began Oct. 25 and allowed students to learn about the surrounding community and gain experience in public service and volunteering.

“I am so excited to the difference that over 1,300 students in the Cornell community can make in the great Ithaca area,” said Julie Gold ’14, Into the Streets co-president. “This will be a fantastic way for our students to leave the Cornell bubble for a bit and see some of the nonprofit agencies in Ithaca and beyond.”

Participating agencies included Beechtree Care Center; Books Thru Bars; Cancer Resource Center; Cornell Cooperative Extension; Downtown Ithaca Alliance; Ithaca Children’s Garden; Ithaca Public Library; Loaves and Fishes; Museum of the Earth; Salvation Army; Sciencenter; Southside Community Center; and the Women’s Opportunity Center.

“It was difficult coordinating over 1,300 students and 90 agencies, but in the end we’re really happy so many students signed up,” said Xiao Xu ’15, director of business and operations for Into the Streets. “We can’t wait to see all the amazing impacts these projects will have on the Ithaca community.”

Another goal of Into the Streets is to encourage participating students to become and remain active in their communities. “This year is Into the Streets’ biggest event yet. I can’t wait to see all of the students flooding out of Bailey Hall knowing the difference they are going to make and the rewarding experiences they are going to have,” said Alexa D’Ambra ’14, Into the Streets co-president. “It might be cheesy, but I’m a little giddy hearing about people enjoying their projects.”

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John Carberry