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History of Step Forward Day

Step Forward Day: Then and Now

Theme Tower 1988Phillips Theme Tower 1988

Step Forward Day began 31 years ago in 1988 from the vision of two students who 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 or planting gardens at Webster Elementary. The first school-wide SFD happened in 1989, where 150 participants served 5 sites in Malibu.

Today, more than 30 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. During this one day, the Pepperdine community serves a collective 4,500 hours (equivalent of two years work for one person).

Amidst our 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 our 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.

Step Forward Day 2018