Batten Students Pitch in on MLK Day of Service

Students participate in MLK Day

Leave it to Batten students to tackle the toughest part of a challenge. And have fun doing it.

Notwithstanding below-freezing temperatures on Monday, Marina George, Collin Quigley and Josh McCray hefted some serious hacksaws and loppers to clear the last section of the 20-mile hiking trail around Charlottesville. 

The three joined with volunteers with the Rivanna Trails Foundation as part of a day of service activity arranged by the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. They were joined by Batten staff members Shawn Anderson and Cat McCue.

“It was really great to see the progress we made, to see some really rough terrain turn into an actual trail,” said George. The crew had to navigate treacherous rip-rap with slippery rocks while wrestling with brambles, vines and even a few logs. 

After completing the job, which took several hours, McCray said: “This was really hard, but not as hard as civil rights. And there’s still a lot to do, on the trail and on civil rights.” 

Students participate in MLK Day

At Garrett Hall, three other students -- Matt Docalovich, Chrissy Leech, and Anna Heetderks -- joined with youth volunteers from local elementary and middle schools to prepare 60 lunches for unhoused Charlottesville community members. 

The activity was in partnership with PACEM (People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry), a local nonprofit which participates in Batten’s annual fall service event, Batten Builds. The meals were especially appreciated this week given the extreme cold and inclement weather. 

“We are so appreciative of our community partners, both on MLK Day and throughout the academic year. As with Batten Builds, it’s especially meaningful to have the chance to start the semester with a service opportunity that connects us with the community,” said Jill Rockwell, Senior Assistant Dean for Student and Career Services, who joined in the activity along with Batten staff member Linda Sherck.  

Students participate in MLK Day


Garrett Hall at Sunset

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