Pepperdine's desire to serve the community has always been a part of what makes this University special. But 25 years ago two students who were actively involved in service had a vision to create a place on campus that would foster and encourage volunteer work among the entire Pepperdine community. In 1988, the Pepperdine Volunteer Center was borne out of their efforts.
In that same year, these students with support from Sara Jackson (now vice-chancellor), put on the first annual Step Forward Day, an event that more than 25,000 students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends have participated in over the past 25 years.
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.
The PVC serves as a facilitator in finding, developing, and coordinating meaningful service opportunities with various organizations each possessing unique needs.
We also view our students' service as an extension to the learning that takes place in the classroom. As students interact with people from diverse socio-economic, political, religious, and cultural backgrounds, they are given the unique opportunity to learn from those they are serving. We seek to promote this community-based learning by incorporating intentional training and reflection into each volunteer program it offers.
The PVC is entering the next phase of growth with service-learning, community-based research, and partnership with the Pepperdine Non-Profit Management minor.
In addition, alumni who participated with the Pepperdine Volunteer Center during their time as students continue to go out into Los Angeles, Ventura, and all of the world eager to be the change they want to see.
Join us, and be a part of changing lives.