By Courtney Westlake
A group of UIS students proved that college kids do indeed care about the well-being of the local community on Wednesday morning, and grateful community members who drove by and thanked them reinforced their efforts.
The group of UIS students and several staff members spent much of the morning on Wednesday, April 30, pulling weeds, planting flowers and partaking in other beautification projects at Jefferson Middle School as part of National Volunteer Week.
The day was just a part of an ongoing relationship with Jefferson Middle School, through which UIS students also mentor students from Jefferson.
"This is the 6th annual UIS Cares day, and we wanted to do a beautification project," said Kelly Thompson, director of the Office of Student Volunteers and Civic Engagement at UIS. "We wanted to show the students from Jefferson truly that we did care; we are using the name UIS Care by really showing them that we care about their school, both on the inside through our mentoring and on the outside."
UIS junior Adam Findley said he heard about the chance to volunteer during the UIS Cares event through his soccer coach and felt it would be a great opportunity for some of the student athletes.
"I felt that it'd be a great thing for us as athletes to do to really just give back to the community," he said.
A cleaner and more beautiful image is important to the community, Findley said.
"What I like to say is the first glance is always the best," he said. "When people come to Jefferson Middle School, they want to see a beautiful place, and they'll want to come back if they do."