LINCOLN, Neb. New Nebraska Wesleyan University students continued a 20-year tradition with "Lend-A-Hand" to Lincoln.
Each year first-year students join NWU faculty and staff to volunteer at nearly 25 non-profit agencies throughout the city.
The event helps area nonprofits care for their buildings and community centers and it gives new students an opportunity to get to know the city they will spend their next four years in.
At the Malone Community Center in Lincoln, a big group of students spent their time cleaning the gym and fixing the outside area.
Evan Mathers starts class on Monday, but he says he already feels at home at his new college because of the new student orientation week he's been a part of.
"Today's a really good way to get connected with some more people in my group," said Mathers.
Cleaning up their community is a bonding experience for freshman because it lets them get to know each other in a pressure free environment.
"It's easier when you're doing something than just sitting around in a circle and awkwardly making conversation. And it's cool to give back to something that I know...it helps my community," said Mathers.
First-year students also get a chance to talk with university staff and work side by side with the people who make major decisions at their university. That isn't lost on Nebraska Wesleyan's Provost Judy Muyskens who says she loves spending quality time getting to know students.
"I work the morning shift and the afternoon shift just so I can get to know two groups of freshman. It's just one of the most powerful things I do," said Muyskens.
New Student Orientation Leader, Garrett Sellhorst says he's glad to be a leader at a place that values service.
"We don't like to push it on students, but we like to highly encourage it because we feel like it's going to help them grow as individuals and help them make the most out of their experience," said Sellhorst.
And Mathers agrees with Sellhorst. He says this experience is just the first step in his journey at college
"I'm looking forward to being independent and have a chance to grow on my own. I'm looking forward to a great year with some awesome people out here," said Mathers.
Nebraska Wesleyan alumni also participate in this day in different cities across the country. They serve their own communities in Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas city, New york city, Omaha and Lincoln.