September 06, 2018

Students cook and serve dinner at House of Ruth, a women's shelter. Students cook and serve dinner at House of Ruth, a women's shelter.The Class of 2022 marked its first days at Susquehanna University by volunteering throughout the central Susquehanna Valley and Washington, D.C.

A select group of 11 first-year students participated in SU SPLASH (Students Promoting Leadership and Awareness in Serving the Homeless), an opportunity coordinated by The David ’69 and Sharon Johnson Center for Civic Engagement (JCCE) that teaches students about homelessness.

Students participating in SU SPLASH were:

  • Jessica Arrigo, a mathematics major from Brodheadsville, Pa.
  • Michelle Arrigo, a mathematics major from Brodheadsville, Pa.
  • Erin Bean, a biomedical sciences major from Watchung, N.J.
  • Jordan de Leon, a marketing major from Conshohocken, Pa.
  • John Geoghegan, a theatre major from Chester Springs, Pa.
  • Samantha Koitz, an undeclared major from Rockville, Md.
  • Virginia Macomber, an economics major from Sebec, Maine
  • Elizabeth McDonough, a creative writing major from Stratham, N.H.
  • Olivia McGaw, a public policy major from Bloomsburg, Pa.
  • Lauren Runkle, a publishing and editing major from Royersford, Pa.
  • Kandice Solotruk, an early childhood education major from Breinigsville, Pa.

Students begin their SU SPLASH experience at Haven Ministries, Sunbury, and the HandUP Foundation, Milton, getting to know the local community and each other before traveling to Washington, D.C. where they worked with House of Ruth, A Wider Circle, D.C. Central Kitchen and Thrive DC.

They also volunteered for Bread for the Journey, an organization that provides toiletry items and bagged lunches to those experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C. They packed 50 lunches and 200 bags of toiletry items.

“This project urges students to engage with this population directly, have conversations and get a firsthand perspective of some of the challenges and realities of living without a home,” said Pam Frontino, assistant director of the JCCE.