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Step Forward Day Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Watch as students Jennifer Abohosh and Lucy Ryan talk about the Step Forward Day tradition and mission.

Twenty-five years ago, in 1988, two students recognized the need for volunteers in the local community and wanted to share their passion for service with their peers. The projects began as small acts of service–repairs on homes of local senior citizens and planting gardens at local elementary schools. Today, 25 years later, the reach of Step Forward Day has grown to include over 75 community organizations spanning from Ventura County to Downtown Los Angeles and involves more than 1,500 students, staff, and faculty members, as well as alumni chapters across the nation and internationally.

This year Step Forward Day will take place Saturday, Sept. 7, marking a milestone in the history of the University. Students, staff, faculty, alumni, and family and friends are invited and encouraged to participate in this day of service. Alumni around the world are also encouraged to participate in projects and carry out the mission of Pepperdine.

During this one day, the Pepperdine community serves a collective 4,500 hours (equivalent of two years work for one person). Amidst its growth, the founding vision for this event remains true. Step Forward Day is a simple yet significant way for the Pepperdine community to be a neighbor and to participate in the University's mission and calling. It is a great way to start the year out right, the chance to make new friends, and to prepare oneself to "step forward" for the rest of the year.

Those who wish to participate at Step Forward Day, but have not registered, are encouraged to check in at the Smothers Theatre, Malibu, parking lot between 7 and 8:30 a.m. to be placed within a group with which to serve. For more information, visit the Step Forward Day registration website.

Concluding the day will be a celebration, where School on Wheels, a longtime Pepperdine community partner, will be celebrating its 20th anniversary by setting a new Guinness World Record. Participants are encouraged to add backpacks to the World's Longest Line of Backpacks with more than 2,000 backpacks in a row. Every backpack will be donated to a child in need of supplies. You may also bring backpacks to donate to the line or support School of Wheels financially during the event.

Waves of Flags, Pepperdine's annual memorial display honoring those who were killed on 9/11, will be set up from 1 to 5 p.m. Volunteers are encouraged to help by placing flags on Alumni Park, each of which represents a victim of the 9/11 tragedies.

Two thousand thirteen also marks the 25th anniversary of the Pepperdine Volunteer Center (PVC), which provides ongoing programs and one-time service events to the entire Pepperdine community. Since that fall in 1988, the PVC has grown both in number of programs and participants as well as continued to refine and mature its mission. By serving both as a facilitator and as an educator, the Volunteer Center seeks to advance the University's visionary statement, "That knowledge calls, ultimately, for a life of service." This mission is realized in developing and supporting student leaders who engage their peers in meaningful service and build strong partnerships with the community.

Throughout the celebration, the Pepperdine Volunteer Center will host a volunteer fair with information about opportunities to get involved in service throughout the year.

Visit the Pepperdine Volunteer Center website for a full list of Step Forward Day 2013 participants and more information.

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