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various photos of georgia southern's impact on community needs

Community Impact at Georgia Southern University

You don’t want to just “go to college.” You want to leave your mark on the world. You want to get instruction…but you also want to get involved.

Below are just some of the ways Georgia Southern gives back.

Are you ready to make a difference?

Sustainability and Nature

person scooping water for testing purposes

Institute for Water and Health

The Institute for Water and Health is a research and education center focused on facing current water and climate issues. Partnering with faculty, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies, students have the chance to join important environmental work in southeast Georgia.

student holding a potted plant

Sustain Southern

Sustain Southern advocates for best sustainable practices for faculty, staff, and students and how they can incorporate sustainable habits in their research, teaching, and service. Their work has led to a wide range of projects on campus, resulting in 11 straight years of recognition in The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges and a prestigious spot among the nation’s Green Ribbon Schools in 2018. 

wildlife center employee holding an alligator showing it around the crowd of community members

Center for Wildlife Education

The Center for Wildlife Education is one of the leading environmental education facilities in Georgia. Using live animals cared for by staff and student workers, the center engages with more than 17,500 children and adults annually to educate communities on native Georgia wildlife, their habitats and the impact humans have on our environment.

“These kids are working with birds of prey, owls, hawks and falcons; and flying and training these animals, and all kinds of native mammals. I had to cut through so much red tape and do years of interning before anyone would let me interact with an animal like that, and these students can come in and get that experience almost right away.”

— Corina Newsome (‘19),
Community Engagement Manager for Georgia Audubon,
about working in the Center for Wildlife Education

More Sustainability Efforts

At Georgia Southern University, we believe in skills and service. That means you’ll get the hands-on training you need to be a leader in your field, but you’ll also be a part of a campus giving back to our communities, making southeast Georgia and beyond a better place.

Health Care

Young woman helping child swim with the assistance of a life jacket

Center for Rehabilitation and Independent Living

The Center for Rehabilitation and Independent Living aims to improve the health and movement of people of all ages and abilities in southeast Georgia. Through research and service, camps, outreach programs and wellness initiatives, faculty and students provide assessment, rehabilitation and enhancement of human movement for everyone.

RiteCare® Center for Communication Disorders

The RiteCare Center for Communication Disorders is a teaching center that provides services for children and adults with communication delays or disorders. Services are provided by our graduate students who are supervised by licensed and certified speech-language pathologists.

woman performing a lunge on a platform assisted by a person behind her pulling on a tension band adding resistance to the lunge

Tactical Athlete Initiative

The Tactical Athlete Initiative provides research, training and support for military, police, fire and EMS workers. Faculty and students across university disciplines partner for research and education projects as well as service and community outreach programs to help our public servants perform better and avoid injury.

“My time at Georgia Southern University prepared me to work with confidence and competence. This program is unique in providing the opportunities for future physical therapists to improve and benefit the continuing needs of our United States Military.”

— Rachael N. Lacey,
Clinical Director and Holistic Health and Fitness Physical Therapist, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade

More Health Care Initiatives

Georgia Southern students logged more than

47,000 hours

of community service from 2019 – 2020.

Youth Outreach and Education

Junior Achievement Discovery Center

The Junior Achievement Discovery Center on the Armstrong Campus in Savannah is an immersive learning experience for middle-school students. In a simulated version of greater Savannah, students apply concepts they learn in the classroom into real life. The center is the first of its kind to employ college students as instructors.

An African-american male Georgia Southern student walking with several children from various minority groups.


The Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) program aims to increase the number of Georgia teachers from diverse backgrounds, building them up as leaders and fostering educator talent in high-need areas.

Camp RAD

Camp RAD provides fun, safe summer activities for youth with disabilities, teaching them important life skills that focus on health, wellness and physical activity. Faculty and students work with these young people to provide unforgettable experiences. Check out the video for more information.

“So our campers are having fun, but they’re also learning how to interact with peers and how to be a part of a community. It makes me happy to see they’re having a good time and feeling accepted in a community that normally they’re excluded from. The student volunteers just rave about how awesome camp is. And you know they’re so glad that they did it. It is such a life-changing experience.”

Taylor Forney (‘18),
Director of the Effingham Camp RAD

More Youth Outreach and Education

Local Service

Southern Leaders

The Southern Leaders program is a leadership development and community engagement program on the Statesboro and Savannah campuses. Students in the program learn how to make a difference in their communities through training, service, team projects and leadership opportunities.

students pose with a Georgia Southern banner on the National Mall in Washington DC. The Washington monument is in the background.

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breakers join weeklong volunteer trips to make a local, national and global social service impact. Alternative Breakers have traveled across the Southeast U.S. as well as Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco. They’ve also traveled internationally to Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Honduras and El Salvador.

serve 912 student volunteering at coastal pet rescue by picking up the play area with a lab mix dog smiling at the camera


Serve912 is Georgia Southern’s community service initiative. On the Statesboro and Savannah campuses, students and leaders engage with the community through year-round, regularly scheduled volunteer trips, service activities and meeting local needs.

“In every aspect of the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement, they strive to offer and implement different opportunities that cater to the needs of the community as well as the interest of the students. My favorite part about service events was helping to meet a need. Whether that was spending quality time with residents at the nursing home or helping to tag clothes and sort toys at the thrift store, I was able to help and be a blessing to someone else.”

Iyanna Dandrea (‘20)

More Local Service Opportunities

Equity and Inclusion

Minority Advisement Program - map logo

Minority Advisement Program (MAP)

The Minority Advisement Program is a peer-mentoring program that helps first-year and transfer students transition to Georgia Southern. The program matches these students with upperclassmen to assist them with getting used to college life.

truly you rainbow logo

T.R.U.L.Y. You

TRULY (Trust, Respect, Understand. Love Yourself) You is a mentoring program for LGBTQ+ students to find opportunities for cultural and academic support.

asian pacific american initiative - apa logo

Asian Pacific American Initiative (APA)

The Asian Pacific American Initiative is a mentoring program providing support to students who identify as Asian Pacific American. APA strives to educate students and staff on not only Eastern Asian cultures but also on Asian cultures that are overshadowed and underrepresented.

“My favorite thing about APA is the people. I joined APA to connect with people that I could relate to. APA is easygoing and filled with warm people.”

Trinh Truong, sophomore from Savannah

More Equity and Inclusion Groups