By Lauren Abraham
Communications Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
At Grand Canyon University, serving the surrounding community is a commitment made by both students and staff. Acts of service that impact others on a local, national and global level stem from the university’s Christian worldview and goal to positively impact the surrounding community.
Endless opportunities are available to GCU students and staff to become involved and make a difference. GCU leads a wide variety of volunteer programs and annual events to build connections with the community and serve others. GCU President Brian Mueller, named Business Person of the Year for 2015 by Phoenix Business Journal, leads university efforts to revitalize West Phoenix socially and economically. This can be seen in GCU’s home improvement projects and free tutoring services to surrounding schools.
So, what are some of the specific ways GCU does this?
Grand Canyon University’s K-12 Outreach program serves public and private learning organizations through extending learning opportunities. This is done through providing students from nearby schools with access to the GCU Learning Lounge, which provides one-on-one and small group tutoring services free of charge. Tutors in this program are excelling college scholars with a passion to serve others. In addition, they are specially trained to provide assistance to high school students. Not only do students in this program receive tutoring, but they also are exposed to college life and can receive tours of the campus and attend events.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit Christian housing ministry, is another outlet through which GCU serves the community. This ministry builds and repairs houses all over the world, and its partnership with GCU is unique in that it aims to impact an entire community. In the program, GCU students and employees work alongside Habitat leaders to repair neighborhood homes by landscaping, replacing roofs, painting and helping with structural repairs.
Serve the City
As many as 200 GCU students participate in Serve the City Day, a semi-annual event to enhance the neighboring areas around GCU’s campus. Students work together to repaint homes, remove graffiti, and clean and revitalize neighborhoods. This event helps to build Christian camaraderie, one of the four pillars of GCU, in which students make friends who become lifelong brothers and sisters in Christ and serve the surrounding community.
Run to Fight Children’s Cancer
The Run to Fight Children’s Cancer is an annual event held at Grand Canyon University, and it features a 10K run, 5K run/walk and a quarter-mile Cancer Survivors Walk. GCU is committed to raising awareness and funds for pediatric cancer, as it is one of the most overlooked and underfunded childhood diseases. The event attracts over runners and spectators to GCU’s campus for a family-friendly and fun atmosphere.
Grand Canyon University is committed to serving others, and these community outreach programs represent only a fraction of GCU’s impact on the community. Upon graduating from GCU, students are equipped to become responsible leaders who strive to help others meet their highest potential through servant leadership. This model of leadership is based on Matthew 20:26, which says, “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”
Grand Canyon University is a leading Christian university with a mission to educate individuals to lead and serve. For more information about GCU and the wide variety of degree programs available, contact us today.