ENGAGE Day celebrates service, giving back to the community
This week, King’s experienced a new kind of event, one that will hopefully continue to be a part of the King’s community in years to come. This event, known as Engage Day, is the brainchild of Raychel Eliopolo, a senior in the House of Susan B. Anthony. Engage Day attempts to bring attention to the concept of service and to identify places that are available here in New York City where students can get involved in serving their community. The event consisted of three parts: a lunchtime panel where students heard why they should get involved, a painting workshop in which students paid to learn how to paint Van Gogh's "Starry Night" from a professional artist and a dinner where students heard how they can begin serving. All of the proceeds from the painting workshop went to the New York City art ministry, Gifted Hands.
When asked how she came up with the idea for Engage Day, Eliopolo discussed how, as she was thinking about what to do in lieu of a thesis, she drew upon her experience as an event planner for a non-profit organization. Her desire to fuse her talent as a planner with her desire to serve prompted her to put together an event where students could be exposed to new ways to serve in the city. Yet her desire to see service is not confined to a single day’s work.
When asked about any future plans, Eliopolo declared that she wants this to be an ongoing event, a time every year where students can focus more on how they can serve. “We’ve seen a renewed sense of service in the houses,” she said, and hopefully that will continue to grow to become an integral part of the House System.
The lunchtime panel consisted of four panelists, with Student Body President Elect Maxine Fileta ('15) acting as the moderator. The four panelists were City Engagement Coordinator, Jake Dinsmore ('14), Head of Global Engagement at King's, Elijah McCready, Vice President for Institutional Research and Strategic Planning, Dr. Kimberly Thornbury and Raleigh Sadler, a guest who is part of the Metro New York Baptist Association and Let My People Go.
Some of the questions asked include “Why should King’s become more involved?” and “How have you personally been involved in the city?” In response to the former, Jake Dinsmore said, “To whom much is given, much will be required. We have been given many gifts and talents; therefore, it is our responsibility to use those in service to others.”
Several other concepts that were addressed included the idea of "presence"--being consistently present in the lives of those we seek to serve, starting small, and, from Sadler, “filling a need that no one else is filling.” At the dinner, tables full of students gather to hear about how they can get involved with various organizations around the city.
The smell of homemade chili wafted through the air as speakers from the Bowery Mission and Operation Exodus took the stage to engage students and informed them about the respective goals of each organization. Several students rose and gave testimonials concerning their experiences with service in the city.
Following this event, one thing is clear: Engage Day has hit upon an aspect of King’s that the college was grateful to have rediscovered and brought to light. Let us hope that it will become a part of King’s culture in years to come.