Retreat Unites Students, Builds Bonds with the Community

First-year dental students had an opportunity to participate in community service projects while getting to know their classmates on August 7 and 8. An annual tradition, the First-Year Retreat includes both a social and a service component as it seeks to build camaraderie among the class, while getting students involved in the broader San Francisco community.

Students participated in a range of volunteer activities held at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens, San Francisco Audubon Society, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy and Jumpstart. They helped with a variety of tasks including gardening, park maintenance and arts and crafts.

The second part of the retreat focused on building relationships among students. After hearing keynote speaker Mr. Gary Zelesky deliver a high-energy message on “A Passion-Centered Life,” the class participated in team-building activities and ended the night with a dinner and Red & White Fleet boat cruise on San Francisco Bay.

“The First-Year Retreat is a chance to build community from the inside out,” said Kathy Candito, associate dean for Student Services. “We want to open students’ eyes to the importance of building relationships and understanding the needs of those they serve—whether they are supporting classmates, patients or neighbors.”