Our view: Welcome back and thanks to college kids

First-year Misericordia University students Lauren Dicarlo, of Mullica Hill, N.J., right, Ashley Larson, of South Williamsport, and Jake Wilson, of Hershey, interact with Daisy at the Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center in Lake Township on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader -

Each year, we write an editorial welcoming back the area’s college students.

King’s College and Wilkes University downtown and Misericordia University in the Dallas Township draw students from throughout the United States, and these days, even from around the globe.

We are always sure to point out the economic contributions the students make to Luzerne County and liveliness and youth the students bring to campuses and surrounding communities.

And typically, we have more than a few online commenters that gripe that these college kids our more trouble than they are worth.

To those malcontents, we point to the actions of Misericordia students in the Back Mountain on Saturday.

According to staff writer Dan Stokes, as part of its four-day orientation, Misericordia’s class of 412 first-year students took part in the Days of Service campaign, volunteering at a total of six different locations.

“Service is essential to who we are as a school,” Sister Cindy March, coordinator for university initiative for compassionate and mindful living, told Stokes.

The program is typical of ones run at the county’s two other four-year institutions.

The Misericordia students visited a variety of places to lend a hand.

According to Stokes:

• At the Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center near Harveys Lake, students served as side walkers for disabled riders and also completed other projects around the horse farm such as raking hay, pulling weeds and burning wood.

• Freshmen planted trees and bushes at Patriot’s Cove, a fishing retreat for disabled veterans in Noxen. Others cleaned kennels and cut grass around the property of Blue Chip Farm in Dallas.

• In Lehman, students volunteered at the Luzerne County Fairgrounds helping with general maintenance, while some washed and painted buildings.

“For these students, I think their service and experience today should be inspiring to see no matter what your limitation may be, you can still accomplish your goals,” Sarah Russoniello, executive director of the Serendipity center, said.

So welcome back to all the college students returning to Luzerne County this week.

But more importantly, thank you for becoming an important and productive part of our community.

First-year Misericordia University students Lauren Dicarlo, of Mullica Hill, N.J., right, Ashley Larson, of South Williamsport, and Jake Wilson, of Hershey, interact with Daisy at the Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center in Lake Township on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_TTL082618MiseriHorses_2-1-1-1.jpgFirst-year Misericordia University students Lauren Dicarlo, of Mullica Hill, N.J., right, Ashley Larson, of South Williamsport, and Jake Wilson, of Hershey, interact with Daisy at the Serendipity Therapeutic Riding Center in Lake Township on Saturday. Bill Tarutis | For Times Leader