What started as a day full of sleepy-eyed freshmen soon turned into a fun-filled day of volunteer work. The Freshman Service Project at APSU has always drawn in many adults from different backgrounds, and this year was no different.

Today the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative and Radical Mission from Clarksville both had large groups join them in making the community a better place.

Dwayne Estes, the executive director of Southeastern Grasslands Initiative, had the freshman walk back and forth across a small prairie to help rid it of an invasive species called the Chinese bush clover. He started out their morning by telling them a bit of the history of the prairie they would be working in and the surrounding areas.

 Peyton Simpson, a chemistry major from Shelbyville, and Ayrton Obrohta, a graphics design major from Nashville, were in this group with Ayrton saying this was his first time volunteering.

Students volunteer at Freshmen Service Projects on Saturday, August 24. SEAN SIPLE | THE ALL STATE

 “This is my first time that counts, ” Simpson said.

When asked what brought them to APSU Obrohta said, “One part was the closeness to my house, but the new art building has a lot of facilities that were interesting.” They both seemed to be excited for the day ahead of them. 

Students Jeakaila Cross, a nursing major from Memphis and Nyawel Kuei, a student from Gallatin, are both very familiar with the volunteer world. 

Both girls said that the campus was one of the main reasons they chose APSU. “I really like the campus and the environment. It seems very friendly,” Kuei said.

“I like the campus too and I was interested in the nursing program,” Cross said.

Meanwhile at Radical Mission, a religious non-profit, there were people doing different jobs in smaller groups. One group worked in the small garden, while another sorted through clothing that the church gave to the less fortunate. However, a duo was giving a helping hand to cut down some limbs with a chainsaw. 

Hunter Lynch, a Criminal Justice major, and Juan Hernandez, a Health and Human Performance major, joined a member of Radical Mission to help.

“I just wanted to volunteer some time and meet with the freshmen to get them out to do some community service,” Juan a peer leader who said.

Hunter said he chose APSU because it was close to his house in Oak Grove. When asked about his past in volunteering, Hunter said, “I’ve always liked volunteering. It’s a good way to get to know people.”  

Volunteering takes a lot of hard work but this year’s freshmen seem to be determined to change the community one step at a time.