2nd Year Biochemistry and International Affairs Major
with a Spanish Minor
Involvement with IMPACT:
I first heard about IMPACT through my honors seminar class, where speakers discussed how this amazing organization changed not only their perspective about key social issues, but has also allowed them to make lifelong friends. I remember when I applied the minute applications were open. Later on, however, I began to grow doubts. It would be my first experience with complete strangers, which was a little beyond my comfort zone. I remember the night before my trip, calling my mom and telling her that I can’t do it. But the next day rolled around, and I knew I couldn’t break a commitment I had made. I had the opportunity to participate in the Shelter and Resource Access trip in Charlotte, North Carolina. This trip made me break down negative stereotypes that I didn’t even know I had until I conversed with the most endearing, genuine people I have ever met. This trip allowed me to see how society turns a blind eye toward the homeless and the preventative measures that can be taken in our community to combat this issue. IMPACT started my chain reaction of yearning for experiences that are outside of my comfort zone. It allowed me to be a part of an open, accepting community that I will forever cherish.
Interest in Trip Focus:
Because the focus of my first trip was Shelter and Resource Access as well, this topic has grown close to my heart over the past year. I have always made little gestures and volunteered as frequently as I could to help those with limited resources. But IMPACT has allowed me to actually converse with those who have had personal experiences with these issues rather than helping indirectly. One of the most memorable experiences that I had while on this trip was a simulation called “Walk in my Shoes,” where volunteers were able to experience the life of a homeless individual. It surprised me the amount of hard work and perseverance one has to have in order to survive and receive the resources they need not only for themselves, but their family as well. The traumatic experiences this population faces motivated me to be more aware and advocate for long term solutions. I am so excited to help lead a trip with the same focus and understand how it is perceived in different locations.
I was arrested two years ago for speeding 112 mph in a 70 zone (not my best moment). Thankfully the mugshots aren’t public, due to being a minor at the time. I was required to do 20 hours of community service, where I met individuals that, in a way, made me glad I had to volunteer. Many of them are homeless, and their stories influenced me to strive for bigger changes (like participating in IMPACT!).
3rd Year Geography Major with Horticulture Minor
Contact Info: email@example.com
Involvement with IMPACT: I didn’t find out about Impact until my sophomore year, when one of my friends encouraged me to apply. I had been looking for a sense of community at UGA, and Impact ended up being that and so much more. I went on my first trip this past spring break to Immokalee, Florida with a focus on farmworker’s justice. This trip opened my eyes to the complexity of and injustice within our food system. I not only learned about the importance of social justice within service, but I also learned so much about compassion and the strength in vulnerability from my fellow participants and our site leaders. I’m really grateful to have found a community filled with people that really care about those around them!
Interest in Trip Focus: I grew up in a small town in South Georgia, so I have seen first hand the limited access to resources that rural communities can face. I’m also interested in continuing to learn more about shelter and resource access, as Athens is a community highly affected by unequal access to resources and limited affordable housing. This limit to resources affects access to education, healthy and affordable food, healthcare, and many other human rights. I think it’s really important to not only learn about these complex issues in New River Valley, but to be able to bring this awareness back to the community that we are a part of as UGA students.
Fun Fact: I hiked Mount St. Helens this summer, and it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done!