The youngest students at UTC are changing their world. Incoming freshmen have accepted the challenge to donate school supplies to Brown and Battle Academies as they arrive on campus for orientation.

The service learning project is new to freshmen orientation this year. In exchange for donating school supplies, the students get a free t-shirt.

“We’ve always given out a t-shirt at orientation, but we wondering how we could make a service project out of it. The idea of helping out schools that were near the campus seemed like an ideal fit. As our new students are getting ready to enter college, we want them to think about how they can be successful in school and how they can help others be successful too,” Carrie Sherbesman, UTC Director of New Student Orientation, said.

According to Drew Holland, UTC Assistant Director of New Student Orientation, response to the initiative has been extremely positive.

“The schools gave us a list of what they needed and we sent it out to new students and their families before they arrived on campus. People have come with bags of stuff. We have thousands of supplies to give to the schools. It’s been great,” Holland said.

The Orientation Office partnered with the UTC Office of Sustainability to create an “eco-smart” t-shirt this year. The shirt was made from to eco-friendly, sustainable materials.

“We hope to continue this new tradition. It not only provides much needed resources to Brown and Battle Academies, but it teaches students about service and civic engagement, two of the University’s most important values, right off the bat,” Holland said.

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