Celebrating Community Engagement

Thousands of USF students take part in USF’s Stampede of Service, an annual community service project.


Photos: Bryce Moseley | Special to USF  News


From USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (Jan. 19, 2013) – Upwards of 3,000 University of South Florida students turned out for the University of South Florida’s biggest community engagement project – Stampede of Service – which celebrates a helping hand across Hillsborough County.


Student fanned out across the country Saturday to help in a number of projects, ranging from painting the walls of a preschool to spreading mulch at a local park. Coordinated through the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, part of the Division of Student Affairs, SOS is designed to engage students with current social issues and introduce them to the importance of community service.


This year students adopted the motto “make a difference today, make a difference every day,” in hopes of taking the experience of giving back to the community during the SOS event and inspiring volunteer work on a regular basis. 


“There is so much power in 3,000-plus students giving back on one day, and we hope that students realize they can continue to make that same difference every day,” said Mallory Trochesset, associate director of USF’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement.


First held in 2006, Stampede of Service is part of USF’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Week, providing large groups of volunteers the opportunity to honor Dr. King by participating in community service.  Having grown into one of the most well-attended university traditions, SOS is a meaningful USF connection to the local community.  SOS was founded seven years ago by a student who wanted to celebrate the MLK holiday. What started with 900 students participating in the inaugural event, grew to a record of more than 3,000 students in 2012.