Thursday, July 24, 2014

Paige Cole, University of Saint Francis

Paige_Cole_-_U_of_Saint_Francis_Fort_Wayne_IN_webPaige Cole is a junior at University of Saint Francis and one of 135 students from accross the nation selected to be a Newman Civic Fellow. The Newman Civic Fellows Award recognize inspiring college student leaders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. 

We asked Paige for her thoughts on service and why she does what she does.

1. What does service mean to you?

Service is not something that can be easily described. To me, service is the act of helping those who are in need. It is not something I do to receive praise for, but simply helping someone else is a reward in itself. After awhile, serving others becomes a part of who you are, and not something you do on occasion. It becomes something you do every day, in some small way.

2. Why do you serve?

I serve because it is who I am. I have always had a strong desire to help others in whatever way I can.

3. Please describe the service and leadership opportunities you are engaged in on your campus.

I am involved with Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) and serve as the President for the USF chapter. SIFE is a club for students who want to reach out to their fellow students and to their community to provide service to those in need whether it is business related, financial help, or community support. Currently, we are involved with Lemonade Day, a program for elementary age students that will teach them business and life skills and a Women Empowerment project with the Burmese in our community. I am also a Resident Assistant at the University of Saint Francis, and help serve fellow students by providing assistance to their needs and by providing additional service opportunities for them to get involved with. Early in the school year, I was a part of the Center for Service Engagement Community Interfaith Committee. This committee organized, Better Together Day of Service, which provided an opportunity for students in the Fort Wayne area to serve several different religious denominations. It was a challenge placed by President Barack Obama onto colleges and universities in the United States. I have helped with several initiatives on campus, and I continue to help those who ask for help in any way I can serve.

4. What do you feel has been the greatest benefit of your service – on your campus; within your community; and in your life?

The greatest benefit of my service, whether it be on campus, in the community, or during my life, has been getting to hear interesting stories from different people. I want to get to know the people I serve. It is so much more rewarding! No matter where I have served, It is always a blessing to hear the sincere gratitude from those who are being served. It always feels that I am doing something so small, but to those being served; they find it to be life-changing. I enjoy hearing their personal stories, and how they have overcome obstacles and are working toward a better life. Serving others isn’t a chore for me, but an opportunity to reach out to “real” people when they need it the most.

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Indiana Campus Compact is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for significant funding in support of programs, training,and resources for our member campuses that allow them to deepen their commitment to community engagement and service-learning.