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Director of Service Learning
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
toll-free: (800) 456-9009
local: (727) 864-7512
Profiles in Service
San Francisco, California
Graduation Year: 2010
Major: International Relations and Global Affairs
What types of service/volunteer activities are/were you involved with at Eckerd?
I took the Freshman Autumn Term Service Learning course and then worked with the Coalition of Immokalee workers to improve the wages and rights of tomato farmers, I went to Ukraine to work with kids living on the streets and returned a second time the following winter term. Finally, my Senior year I volunteered for the Eckerd Youth Association, mentoring an at-risk youth.
In what ways did your service experience change you or cause a transformation in your thinking, values or degree/career choice?
Service work has played a huge role in my career choice. I chose to become a Nurse Practitioner, and like service work, it is about working to making a situation better. For me, service work and nursing are all about improving the quality of life, helping those in need and at a minimum, simply providing support.
Please describe your most significant or important service experience while at Eckerd.
Visiting Immokalee, Florida in the first few months of college, and seeing the harsh environment that tomato farmers have to experience everyday has had the greatest effect on me.That experience is my ground zero, the point at which I began to build myself and shape myself into the person I am today. It is why I chose to work on improving worker's rights for safe and healthy workplaces.
If you are a graduate, what sort of service do you now do?
I volunteer with a wonderful group of individuals that make up KidsCareEverywhere (KCE), a nonprofit based in San Francisco. KCE works to provide Pediatric Emergency Medical Software (PEMSoft) to under-resourced areas.
Service and justice are two topics that can generate stimulating thought and discussion. Describe a time, event or interaction that really engaged your thoughts on service and justice.
I have two quotes that stand out to me. The first quote was carved into the front hall of my high school, I passed it every morning, a constant reminder of the importance participating. As the first quote got the fire started, the second quote keeps the fire burning.
"The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke.
"The only kinds of fights worth fighting are those you are going to lose, because somebody has to fight them and lose and lose and lose until someday, somebody who believes as you do wins. In order for somebody to win an important, major fight 100 years hence, a lot of other people have got to be willing - for the sheer fun and joy of it - to go right ahead and fight, knowing you're going to lose. You mustn't feel like a martyr. You've got to enjoy it." - I.F Stone"
What advice would you give to other current or entering Eckerd students about participating in service?
Good intentions get you involved in service, but listening and asking questions are the essential ingredients in making a difference.
The experiences I have enjoyed the most, have been the times I volunteer with an issue or field I am not familiar with. At the end of the day the only effect you can really measure with the service work is the effect it has had on you.