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April 20th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune
College students don’t usually wake up at 7:00 am on a Saturday morning. This Saturday, however, Caltech students took to the streets for a full day of volunteer service to benefit Pasadena and greater Los Angeles. Over 160 students participated in the Caltech Y’s ninth annual Make A Difference Day, a program designed to introduce Caltech students to volunteer service in the local area and to encourage community outreach.
Volunteers planted trees in the Los Angeles area with Northeast Trees, added fresh coats of paint to brighten up a house with Rebuilding Together, and tutored youth with School on Wheels. Over 20 local non-profit agencies benefited from the student’s goodwill. Junior Stephen Wilke worked at the Fred Jordan Mission in downtown Los Angeles with 10 other students. "With so much need in Los Angeles, whatever small part we can do will help make a difference", Stephen says. He and the other students helped organize donated food items for distribution among L.A.’s homeless.
Make A Difference Day is sponsored by the Caltech Y, an independent non-profit organization formally affiliated with the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Founded by students in 1916, the Y was organized to provide extracurricular activities planned and implemented by students as an opportunity to learn leadership skills and discover themselves. The mission of today’s Y remains the same-to provide opportunities that will prepare students to become engaged, responsible citizens of the world. The Y seeks to broaden students’ worldviews, raise social, ethical, and cultural awareness through teamwork, community engagement, activism, and leadership.