News and Events

First-Year Students Participate in Community Service Projects throughout San Francisco

Student volunteers pose with a pile of non-native plants that were removed at Baker Beach.

August  06, 2012

The Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry's newest DDS and IDS students joined forces with several San Francisco non-profit organizations as part of the first-year retreat held Aug. 2-3.

On the first day of the retreat, students heard nationally known speaker Gary Zelesky give a motivating presentation about being a passion-centered professional, participated in team-building activities in the Presidio of San Francisco, and enjoyed dinner onboard a Red and White Fleet boat cruise around San Francisco Bay.

First Year Retreat 2012

Volunteers prep meals at GLIDE.

On the second day, students shifted their focus to the public and incorporated a new community service aspect to the retreat. 

Students chose from a variety of different volunteer experiences at local nonprofit organizations including the Golden Gate Conservancy, Friends of the Urban Forest, GLIDE, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society, San Francisco Food Bank, San Francisco Parks and Recreation, and San Francisco Zoological Society.

Depending on the site of their chosen service activity, students spent their mornings preparing meals for the hungry and homeless; cleaning stream beds at the San Francisco Zoo; removing non-native plants from a local beach; planting trees and bushes in a city park; packaging bulk food for distribution by the Food Bank; and doing other community projects.

"The service portion of the retreat connected us to the community that we are living in," said Kim Butler, a Class of 2015 student. "Taking time to get away from school and do some physical work to benefit others was a reminder that we exist as a part of a greater world. We were able to pitch in and help out organizations that do amazing work while also bonding with our classmates."

First year retreat 2012

Volunteers clear weeds at a Friends of Urban Forest site.

Several representatives from University of the Pacific's MOVE (Mountain, Ocean, Valley Experience) program in Stockton attended the retreat to help organize the service activities. MOVE is an initiative designed to welcome all new Pacific students to the school community through participation in experiential learning and service projects.

"Our first-year retreat has always been a team building and bonding experience for new students, but this year we also wanted to incorporate an aspect of giving back to the local community," said Dr. Eddie Hayashida, Associate Dean for Administration. "Students were able to give back to the community while learning a little more about San Francisco and each other."  


Category Type: Community Outreach, Special Events

Contact:  Office of Marketing and Communications, 415.929.6434,