Last month, nine youth groups descended on the Johnson University Florida campus for The Event. Organized by JUFL’s energetic admissions staff, The Event is a conference consisting of high-energy worship, outdoor activities, service projects, devotional times, small groups, and informative workshops for high school and college-aged students.
The scope of The Event requires the entire community to pull together so that everything comes off without a hitch. JUFL admissions director, Kirsys Asenjo, was thrilled by the tireless work of this year’s volunteers. “I have been amazed by how patient and willing to serve our various departments have been this week! Whether cooking all day, setting up rooms, leading crazy games, or adapting to last-minute changes, the Johnson University Florida community has been extremely generous with their time, energy, and resources.”
The Event volunteers and participants not only took up the slack for on-campus events but also shared their generous hearts and hands with the community. Under the glaring Florida sun, over 150 JUFL students, staff, and high school students gathered on the second day of The Event to take on two big service projects in Osceola County. Unbowed by the heat, admissions counselor, Tyler Olender, led a group of about 50 in a 3-hour effort to paint the exterior of Habitat for Humanity’s new Kissimmee offices.
However, painting was not all that The Event crew tackled that day. Organized by the Hispanic Education Association, over 100 participants took on a replanting project at Shingle Creek Regional Park. Over 2,900 grasses, palms, and trees, including Lopsided Indian Grass, Saw Palmetto, Black-eyed Susans, Longleaf pines, and American Beautyberry, were added to the park. The planting helps support the park’s long-term goals of removing non-native species and replanting native shrubs, including Pine Flatwoods. Parks and Recreation director, Bob Mendick, plans to photograph the field one year from now to share the field’s progress with next year’s The Event participants.
JUFL chancellor and vice-provost, Michael Chambers, added his voice to those praising The Event, saying, “The wonderful actions and hard work of The Event participants and JUFL staff have helped to raise the University's profile among Osceola County professional staff supervising the effort, as well as the Central Florida Hispanic community. I look forward to another great experience next year!”
If you’re interested in participating in next year’s programming, or know a youth or college group that might like to learn more, please check out The Event’s official page.