Students have devoted 3.5 million hours of service to the community — discovering career interests and opportunities along the way — since the inception of Workship in 1968.
Workship combines volunteer work and worship to demonstrate Christ’s love to the West Palm Beach community and the world. In the last year alone, students spent a collective 138,582 hours volunteering. The majority of those hours were spent in Palm Beach County.
“We have street cred,” Assistant Director of Workship Nathan Chau said. “We’re recognized almost anywhere and everywhere we go in the community.”
Nonprofit leaders who have worked with Workship volunteers in the past will often reach out to PBA for future needs, because they know the University will deliver with dedicated volunteers, Chau said.
“The real key in being so impactful is the consistency,” he said.
During spring commencement, West Palm Beach Mayor Keith James said Palm Beach Atlantic students compose the city’s largest group of volunteers — and that business owners take pride in hiring grads.
As students respond to human needs with Christ-like action, they discern their vocation and develop a life-long habit of servant leadership. Julia Cusumano ’17, a transfer student and management major, volunteered for Chris Evert Charities as a PBA student. She went on to get her master’s degree in sport business management and accepted a job as marketing and sponsorship activation manager for the charities. In her new role, she’s reached out to PBA to recruit volunteers.
Judson Crawford ’19 felt a call to law enforcement through his volunteer work as leader of the Rosemary Village afterschool program, which serves children ages 4 to 15 in an underserved, low-income community two miles from campus. Crawford realized that police officers can make a big difference in the lives of children who just want to be loved.
Students may volunteer in churches, schools and community organizations to achieve the minimum 45 hours of service required each year. Students also give their time to public schools in West Palm Beach through the Parker Avenue Consortium.
The consortium is a community partnership between the University, Palm Beach County School District and West Palm Beach to benefit the neighborhoods around the Marshall and Vera Lea Rinker Athletic Campus. The Lloyd L. Gregory School of Pharmacy hosts an annual health fair at the campus.
In addition, student leaders coordinate Workship-sponsored projects, where students serve as a group in activities such as gleaning. The Workship office steers students to opportunities related to their studies or interests.
“They get to choose where they want to serve,” Chau said. He tells them, “There are going to be transferable skills that you can gain from whatever experience you get.”
Photo 1: Students collect leftover crops from farmers on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as they participate in a Workship day of service. Workship, the University's community service program, combines work and worship.
Photo 2: Students cheer on a young person at the Access Life Expo in February in West Palm Beach. The expo offers Christ-centered encouragement, support and fun for individuals and families living with disabilities.
Photo 3: Students volunteer for Race of Hope on Palm Beach on a rainy day in January.