Students to step out, help Waco

Before and after pictures of Steppin' Out's work on the house of a blind widow on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011. Meagan Downing | Lariat Photographer
Before and after pictures of Steppin’ Out’s work on the house of a blind widow on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011.
Meagan Downing | Lariat Photographer
By Abigail Loop

Baylor students will once again step out into the community by participating the 28th annual Steppin’ Out.

Started in 1985 at Baylor, Steppin’ Out is a service event that provides Baylor students with opportunities to serve the community.

This semester student volunteers will spread across 70 different sites in the Waco and West communities from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Saturday.

Students will participate in an assortment of volunteer work such as gardening at St. Luke’s African Methodist Episcopal Church or picking up debris in the areas affected by the fatal explosion of the West Fertilizer plant explosion in April.

Then, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., all Baylor students and members of the Waco community are invited to attend the free Block Party at Dewey Park.

The party will include free food, games and crafts.

“This semester, we have 3,050 individuals signed up,” Janice Wong, member of the Steppin’ Out Steering Committee, said. “That’s a record for Steppin’ Out.”

Wong said registration is closed for this semester, but everyone is still encouraged to attend the Block Party afterward.

“Everyone should still come to the Block Party,” Wong said. “It’s a celebration of community and you get to interact with a lot people.”

Norman, Okla., junior Tyler Couch, director of the Steppin’ Out Steering Committee, said he thinks this is why he enjoys being involved with Steppin’ Out.

“The best part of what we do is not just the work but the relationships we make,” Couch said. “We’ve been around for 25 years and relationships have been formed within the Waco community. This is a chance to bridge a gap between students and the Waco community.”

Couch said with all the student involvement and the number of volunteer requests, the committee is excited for one of the biggest Steppin’ Out events.

Cypress freshman Kayona Moore said she cannot wait to participate for the first time this year.

“I’m going to be doing Steppin’ Out with the American Medical Student Association at Baylor and I hope we help the community in a big way and achieve a sense of fulfillment,” Moore said. “I love to volunteer and I think this a huge community effort to make a difference.”

Students can register online to be involved in next semester’s Steppin’ Out on April 5.

Applications to be a part of the steering committee are online at