Aug. 23, 2010
Leah Seupersad, 404-413-1354
Cleaning up headstones at Chastain Memorial Park and mentoring children at East Atlanta Kids Club are just a few ways Omari Miller was hands-on in Atlanta this year. Now, the senior biology major is the new president of the Georgia State chapter of the non-profit organization, Hands On Atlanta.
“Working in community service has definitely become a part of who I am since I’ve attended Georgia State,” Miller said. “I’ve learned a lot about the meaning of fellowship and leadership skills.”
Miller has worked on a variety of community service projects as not only a member of Hands On Atlanta, but also the Tighter Grip Male Initiative and the Biology Club. This summer he has coordinated his community service with his lifelong interest of wildlife by volunteering at the Georgia Aquarium.
“As a child I always enjoyed looking at animals and insects,” he said. “From an early age I watched the Discovery Channel and my love for wildlife grew on from there.”
However, Miller’s favorite projects are those that involve restoration.
“I like the feeling of taking something that has been run down or underappreciated and building it back up to its former glory,” Miller said. “As a student you need to know about your community and in order to know where you’re going, you also have to know where you came from. And you really need to reach back to where your roots are.”
Hands On Atlanta helps individuals, families, corporate and community groups find flexible volunteer opportunities at more than 400 service organizations and schools. The organization has more than 37,000 volunteers nationally that work every day of the year building community and meeting critical needs in schools, parks, senior homes, food banks, pet shelters and low-income neighborhoods.
Georgia State’s chapter aims to provide students with opportunities to exercise their leadership skills and make difference in the Atlanta community by collectively representing Georgia State.
Miller says the organization will engage in two service events each month this year, including a restoration project at Push Push Theatre in Decatur, and sorting donations for families in crises with MUST Ministries.
Hands On Atlanta is always looking for more volunteers, Miller said. And as the student enrollment continues to grow at Georgia State, Millers says that only means more hands to help on a growing number of service projects around Atlanta.
“We are striving to help our community through engagement and encouragement of our students” he said. “I’m looking forward to becoming more of a cohesive unit, as opposed to a collection of people that like to do community service.”