NEIU cleans up Foster Beach


Volunteers at the annual beach cleanup hosted by the Alumni Association. | Photo by Rebecca Denham

Rebecca Denham, News Editor

On the morning of July 13, a total of 31 students, staff, alumni and families of the NEIU community arrived at Foster beach to collect and dispose of litter.

Organized by the Alumni Association on campus, this year’s annual beach cleanup had the best turn out of the past three years. 

The assistant director of alumni relations, Ashley Agron, said, “We had triple the amount of volunteers this year than we had the last two years!  Many are looking forward to participating again next year.”

Some of the volunteers were current students looking to help out with NEIU, like  Sophomore accounting major Gabriel Salceda.

“It’s all about keeping the area clean and looking out for the people of Chicago. While we are not relaxing on the beach today, we might be next week. So we want it just as clean as the way we left it,” Salceda said. 

Other participants were members of organizations on campus fulfilling their volunteering responsibilities. Current student Maria Gomez, a senior social work major, and Dulce Garcia, a 2017 alumna with a bachelors in Spanish, are both involved in the Sigma Lambda Gamma.

“Community service is one of our principles at the sorority, and we try to live our principles every day,” said Gomez. 

Another portion of participants were alumni. Brothers Jeff and Chris Laufeneerg graduated in 2018, both with business management degrees.

“We walk these type of beaches along the Chicago lakefront trail and we figured we would do our part and try our best to clean it,” stated Jeff Laufeneerg .

Chris Laufeneerg followed by saying, “now that we’re out of school, we’re trying to give back.”  

The volunteers worked in groups to more efficiently track the amount of garbage that was collected.

“In total we collected 15 bags of trash, that collectively weighed about 40 pounds and filled an entire trash can,” reported Agron. 

She followed by discussing future cleanup plans.

“We may possibly also plan another clean up for this year at 41st Street Beach since it is so close to the NEIU Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies  campus.”

Satisfied volunteers with their collected garbage. (Left to Right): Maria Gomez, Dulce Garcia, Jeff Laufeneerg, Chris Laufeneerg, Jennie Lasko and Gabriel Salceda. | Photos by Rebecca Denham