Students encouraged to take the LEAP

Students do community work at last year's LEAP program.

Students do community work at last year's LEAP program.

Organizers of a unique orientation program hope to see more than 100 first-year students get a preview of the Brock’s community spirit this summer.

Registration is open for LEAP – an acronym for leadership, engagement, achievement and pride – which takes new incoming students on a community engagement experience. It also gives them a preview of residence, St. Catharines and Student Services at Brock.

Last year, 53 students participated in LEAP, which is a partnership between Career Services, the Student Development Centre and Student Life and Community Experience. Students spend the night in residence and participate in a community service project, such as working at a food bank or working in a community garden.

“It’s a chance for them to experience what we value here,” said Lindsay Winger, Student Leadership and Engagement co-ordinator. “We’re pretty proud of Brock’s long-standing commitment to community involvement.”

There are four LEAP dates this summer. At each, the students explore mentorship, leadership and volunteerism, Winger said.

“It familiarizes them with aspects of the Niagara community such as the bus system,” she said. “While we’re on it, we point out where they can get groceries, where the pharmacy is, where some of the different local restaurants are and other things they will want to know.”

In a testimonial about the program in 2010, student Paul Berthelot, said he was “really glad I took it.

“I made lots of friends which will help me get more adjusted to Brock,” he said.

LEAP is one of several orientation programs for new students. Smart Start, which runs from June 27 to Aug. 12, gives students and parents a preview of university life. In Mentorship Plus, new students are matched with senior student mentors and participate in leadership and skills training.

Students at LEAP in 2010

Students at LEAP in 2010

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