By Rolando Rodriguez Soto, Reporter
Steppin’ Out, one of Baylor University’s longest-running traditions, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Registration day is right around the corner after homecoming from Monday to Thursday.
Steppin’ Out is a program where students provide service to the Waco community through volunteer service days that are held once each semester.
Baylor students have the opportunity to serve homeowners, major organizations and businesses in Waco. There will be about 50 sites available, which include Family of Faith Worship Center, Hillcrest PDS Magnet School, North East Riverside Neighborhood Association, Animal Birth Control Clinic, Family Abuse Center, World Hunger Relief and many others.
“A lot of people really like that it’s just a one-day commitment where you go and serve,” said Jamie Wong, internal director for Steppin’ Out. “Even though you may only physically be going out for one day, we want to create relationships that last longer.”
Wong said it’s important for Baylor students to step out of their bubble and interact with families, business owners and churches in the Waco community.
“It was fun for me to see students of different majors and classes unite together to achieve a common goal,” Paris senior Laynee Fulgham said. “Most of the people I was working with I had never met, but we all got along and helped each other out like we had been doing it for years.”
Many students who participate in Steppin’ Out are there to represent their organization, club, sorority or fraternity. Individuals are also encouraged to participate. Steppin’ Out also encourages organizations to serve together at one site to interact with other groups within Baylor.
“It’s a great chance for students at Baylor to interact with the community that makes our time at Baylor so unique,” Alvin senior Ryan Gutierrez said. “It also helps students to get out of their comfort zone and learn lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom. I would encourage every student to volunteer.”
Steppin’ Out is Baylor’s one big push to participate in the Waco community. It starts Nov. 7 with a kickoff celebration in the morning where students can get prepared for the day and enjoy live entertainment.
“I think people in Waco do know what Steppin’ Out is, and a lot of them have appreciated what we’ve done, but at the same time there is so much room for us to continue to foster relationships and really just not have it be on one day,” Wong said.