Incoming Freshmen Serve at St. Vincent de Paul

Steve Franz
Matt Dunaway
Matt Dunaway
BATON ROUGE - As part of the Summer Academic Success Program, 24 LSU freshmen student-athletes representing five programs took time to volunteer and serve lunch to the homeless Friday at the St. Vincent de Paul Dining Room.
"This event had an impact on me today, as I realized I'm so blessed and have so many opportunities in front of me," football's Jalen Mills said. "It was great that the group could help the less fortunate, and it was nice to be able to give those that came into St. Vincent de Paul today a little bit of extra treatment."
The student-athletes greeted and directed the guests to tables as they entered the dining area. They also performed duties such as passing out utensils and napkins, filling up ice cups, distributing water and milk, manning the food line and passing out trays of food.
Afterwards, the student-athletes picked up trays when the visitors were finished. There were several waves of people that came through the 90-minute lunch session.
"This was a great experience," football's Deion Jones said. "I like to be able to make an impact in people's lives. It was nice to see the smiles on the faces of the little kids, and it was joyful for the group to get involved in this during our summer program."
Organized by the Cox Communications Academic Center for Student-Athletes, the Summer Academic Success Program assists new student-athletes in making the transition to LSU by supporting their intellectual, social, cultural and emotional development.
The program is designed to create a culture with new student-athletes that places priority on academics by equipping them with the skills necessary to graduate from college.
In addition, the program helps new student-athletes understand the values, traditions, norms and expectations of an educational experience at LSU. This is accomplished by providing them with the academic and life skills as well as the resources needed to make their experience within the collegiate environment a successful one, thus giving each new student-athlete more self-confidence, leading to responsibility and initiative for his or her own growth and development.
"I was very impressed with all of the freshman student-athletes and how they handled the situation since this was the first experience volunteering for several of them," ACSA Assistant Director Ericka Lavender said. "They were all very involved, engaged and represented the LSU family well."
"As part of Summer Academic Success Program, we added the community service component along with several other workshops about "Building your Brand", "Communicating with Instructors", "Health and Wellness" and "Communicating with the Media"," Lavender continued. "Overall, everyone enjoyed the experience and several student-athletes have asked when can they go back to help out again."
St. Vincent de Paul has been actively striving to understand and fulfill the needs of the poor within Baton Rouge and the surrounding community since 1865. They aid the most vulnerable members of our community.
Through its various programs, St. Vincent de Paul reaches out to those in need to provide hot meals to those who would otherwise go hungry, warm beds to those who would have no place to sleep, medications to those who could not afford them on their own, and the mandatory uniforms that children need to attend school.
Below is a list of the 24 student-athletes who participated in the event.
Baseball - Mark Laird
Men's Basketball - Malik Morgan
Women's Basketball - Kuaneshia Baker and Derreyal Youngblood
Football - Kwon Alexander, Trent Domingue, Travin Dural, Derek Edinburgh Jr., Dillon Gordon, Jerald Hawkins, Kavahra Holmes, Danielle Hunter, Deion Jones, Jamie Keehn, Jalen Mills, Logan Patty, Lorenzo Phillips, Jerqwinick Sandolph, Stephen Scardina, Dwayne Thomas and Corey Thompson
Volleyball - Khourtni Fears, Cati Leak and Katie Lindelow




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