Step Forward Day Recap: Women's Tennis

Sept. 12, 2017

MALIBU, California -- The 29th annual Step Forward Day was celebrated at Pepperdine on Saturday (Sept. 9), and the Waves' athletic teams were out in full force serving the community.

Thousands of students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends, as well as dozens of campus organizations, including classes, dorms, fraternities, sororities, and clubs, came together to assist nonprofit organizations, schools, churches and parks throughout Southern California.

Step Forward Day began in 1988 when two Pepperdine students recognized the need for volunteers in the local community and sought to encourage service among their peers. The projects began as small acts of service from helping to repair homes of local senior citizens to planting gardens at Webster Elementary School. Today the annual event has grown not only across Southern California, but also to communities nationwide as Pepperdine alumni step forward to help.

The women's tennis team went to the nearby Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School. Student-athlete Laura Gulbe gives us this account:

Step Forward Day is a great opportunity to serve the community even if it only is for one day. This year was the first Step Forward Day we have done as a team together (hopefully, one of many more to come!), and it was nice to feel that the people at the Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School appreciated our help regardless of how small or meaningful it was for them. Our group included the women’s tennis team, the baseball team and some MFA students.

After meeting early on this rather cloudy Saturday morning at the Smothers’ parking lot, we found out the location where we would be headed -- which was only a 15-minute drive away from campus. The chores we were assigned to do at the Point Dume Marine Science Elementary School were not life changing, but the tasks included cleaning workrooms as well as the school, organizing first aid, untangling headphones, preparing materials for preschoolers and other similar stuff. However, it felt purposeful to put both hands to work feeling useful, as all of us were just trying to do our best to help, even if it was only for a couple of hours.



With all the crazy earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and other misfortunes going on right now in the world, it has made me even more aware of how vulnerable anyone of us can be. Therefore, we should help whenever we get the chance to, because we are extremely fortunate to be a part of this amazing community that is always willing to help. This opportunity to volunteer made me mindful that a team of people helping is more fun, and also we get much more done in much shorter period of time. We do not need to go far if we are willing to help -- there are needs all around. We can never only take-take-take, because at the end of the day, if we only take ... what’s left?

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