The Student Professional Development Center partnered with the Kernodle Center and other organizations on campus to encourage "A Year of Service" initiative.

"The idea is to encourage students to do one or two-year service programs ,post graduation. So programs like Peace Corp and Teach for America, and other kinds of comparable programs," said Assistant Director of Career Services Sara Shechter. "Really, these programs are about raising awareness about what those options are."

Shechter is involved in organizing the four programs for the initiative this semester and has seen the benefits of being involved in service after you get that diploma.

"A lot of students find out that they're interested in something by volunteering and they feel more connected to the community and I think it really develops a skill set that can be beneficial to them in the future while also helping to better the community that they're involved with," Shechter said.

To kick off A Year of Service, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity International, Jonathan Reckford, gave students advice about pursuing a career in service.

"I think we often jump right to 'what am I going to do?'" Reckford said. "I think you actually need to spend more time really deciding who you're going to be and what value system you're going to ascribe to."

John Barnhill started Elon's Habitat for Humanity chapter in 1988 and believes in the importance of service and service learning.

"One of the things that's good about service learning is that it takes it from 'oh I'm just helping people' to 'why do I even need to be helping people' and 'what are the root causes of this issue that we should be able to solve?'," Barnhill said. "I really believe deeply that society changes because people care enough to do something and that's service."

For those behind the initiative, the push for service while at Elon provides a stepping stone for service in the future.

The next year of service event takes place this Thursday at 4:15 in McKinnon hall. There will be an alumni panel answering students' questions about post-grad experience in service.