A Passion to Serve at BSM & Beyond

A Passion to Serve at BSM & Beyond

With my senior year at St. Norbert College (SNC) soon coming to an end, I have been reflecting a great deal on my education. One common theme that has consistently emerged is service. In my six years at Benilde- St. Margaret’s, I took several service-based learning courses which helped enhance my classroom learning experience, as well as my passion to serve my community. During my years at BSM, I volunteered for a local afterschool program for two years, organized a dinner for cancer patients and their families, advocated for better immigration policies, and saw joy with those we served in Honduras and Guatemala on service mission trips. BSM taught me how to recognize the innate human dignity we all hold and showed me how we can all be servant leaders to better our society.

At St. Norbert College, I am majoring in Spanish and Sociology and I’ve continued to engage in service here in a number of ways. All four years at SNC, I’ve worked as an Academic Service-Learning Assistant with the Sturzl Center for Community Service and Learning. In my job, I work with various service-learning classes to identify community partners, ensure that service is integrated smoothly, and track data to further improve our courses. Without my foundational experience of service-learning classes at BSM, my college experience would have been very different.

The Sturzl Center helps coordinate almost all of the service experiences on campus which helped me get more involved with organizations and make connections on campus. I have been a part of Dance Marathon, which raises funds and awareness for Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, for four years. Over those four years, we have raised nearly $300k for Children’s and have helped fund critical need-based items like NICU renovations and giraffe Isolettes. I have also led trips with our alternative break program which sends out service trips based on various social justice issues like immigration, affordable housing and children’s medical services.

Last spring, I had the opportunity to take a much larger trip by studying abroad in the Dominican Republic. I chose this program because of its strong connections to service in the community. I lived with a host family for four months and explored the country. I also took classes at a local university including a service-learning class where I volunteered in a local school in a second-grade classroom. During this experience, I frequently thought back on how my service at BSM prepared me for these amazing opportunities. I firmly believe that I would not have gone to the Dominican Republic had I not attended BSM and made connections with numerous caring faculty and staff who believed in me. BSM showed me what it means to put service first in your everyday life and I am grateful.

I have continued this love of service in my college career at SNC and I hope to carry the mission of both these institutions with me as I graduate this spring. I hope to be a servant leader in whatever career I pursue and to never forget the value and importance of community.