When not in the classroom or dressed in their Rams uniforms, PhilaU student-athletes spend a considerable amount of their time volunteering in the community, having donated their time in more than 25 service-related activities this academic year to help those in need.
In the spirit of Division II community engagement, PhilaU’s athletics department coordinates volunteering and community service events for its student-athletes throughout the year. This year alone students have taught underprivileged children tennis, raised money for breast cancer awareness, participated in the “Walk to Cure Diabetes,” helped clean up local parks and recreation facilities, volunteered at a local homeless shelter and helped tutor local school children, among many other projects.
“I believe that the community engagement activities and events that our student-athletes are involved with are an integral part of their educational experience,” said Stephanie Spada, coordinator of NCAA compliance and community engagement, who develops programs to engage student-athletes in shared experiences with the local community.
By designating a full-time employee in the athletics department as the point person for community engagement initiatives, the University has positioned itself as a leader in service and volunteering.
“The lessons learned through the community engagement opportunities have helped to promote the development of life skills that complement both the education and competition that student-athletes receive in the classroom and on the playing field,” Spada said.
Community service activities performed by PhilaU student-athletes this academic year include:
– Volunteered to help with tennis instruction for underprivileged children in the East Falls community at the Arthur Ashe Youth Tennis and Education Center
– Volunteered to clean up the Arthur Ashe facilities
– Raised money for breast cancer awareness by selling pink T-shirts at their homecoming game in October
– Trained the under-12-year-old Roxborough Indians soccer team and invited them on campus to watch one of the PhilaU games
– Participated as a team in the National Brain Tumor walk on Nov. 7
– Improved facilities by cleaning up and painting at the local community Walnut Lane Golf Course
– Volunteered for the “First Tee” program at Walnut Lane Golf Course to help promote the sport of golf and provided instruction to underprivileged children in the local community
– Volunteered at the Philadelphia Marathon
– Volunteered at the Schuylkill Regatta
– Volunteered at Campbell’s Field in Camden, N.J., in the 1st Annual Wiffle Ball Classic; members of the team served as official umpires for the event that helped raise funds for Access Sports, an organization that provides underprivileged children tickets to professional sporting events in the area
– Volunteered for the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk that took place near the Philadelphia Museum of Art
– Volunteered at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation “Walk to Cure Diabetes” on Sunday, Oct. 24
– Worked at the “Henry Got Crops” Farm, which is a local organization that provides food for the local community, as well as an educational opportunity for students at Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences. The farm grows organic produce, as well as teaches the community and the high school students about organic farming.
– Wrapped presents at local malls during the holiday season
– Volunteered at the local YMCA
– Worked with the Women’s Resource Committee (WRC) to raise awareness of domestic violence and abuse for the on-campus “clothesline project” event
– Volunteered at the homeless shelter, Brother’s Place, in Roxborough
– Worked on the AIDS quilt with the Black Student Union and WRC for AIDS and HIV awareness
Men’s and Women’s Cross Country:
– Volunteered at the 25th Annual Schuylkill River Run Loop
– Volunteered at the PhilaU Rams Run the Rox 5K race to raise funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and to beautify the Roxborough neighborhood
– Taught kindergarten and first grade classes at a local Catholic grade school, Holy Child; the team focused on developing the students’ reading and comprehension skills
– Hosted the Towamencin Township Youth Girls’ Basketball Association (12 years old and younger) on campus; the association played a basketball game on campus and later met with the PhilaU women’s basketball team
– Invited the local St. Bridget’s grade school Catholic Youth League girls’ basketball team (8th grade and younger) on campus to watch a game and meet the players
– Assisted in hosting an Ocean City Youth Boys’ Basketball “fun day” where the youth organization (12 and under) played a game in conjunction with the PhilaU men’s basketball alumni game
– Hosted the annual “Have Your Birthday Party at Philadelphia University” with the women’s basketball team, open to students 12 years old and under; PhilaU has hosted this event twice and the third event is scheduled for this coming April 17
– Volunteered for the athletics department’s “Think Pink” event for breast cancer awareness