Northeast Iowa Community College
I was born and raised in Dubuque, Iowa. I attended Dubuque Senior High School and graduated in 2009. I spent the year after graduation with AmeriCorps NCCC, a national service program for 18-24 year olds. While in AmeriCorps I worked on 4 different projects that each lasted 2 months. My first project was in New Orleans working with Habitat for Humanity Warehouse and Restore, collecting and sorting donations. My second project was in Denver, Colorado working with the American Red Cross entering data and Groundwork Denver canvassing the Denver area and giving out free compact fluorescent light bulbs and signing residents up for recycling. My third project was in Big Bend National Park in Texas building and maintaining trails and my final project was in Crown King, Arizona working with the fire department as a wildland firefighter doing hazadardous fuels reduction and going out on emergency calls. I graduated from AmeriCorps in July of 2010. I am now starting my second year at Northeast Iowa Community College where I am working towards my Associate of Arts Degree, I am also the Vice President of Community Service for the Student Activities Council.
Posted on Aug 10, 2011
at 11:10 AM
I have learned about many of the opportunities Iowa has to offer while in this program and now I am challenged to think of something that Iowa does not offer me. I am a huge advocate of traveling and meeting new people from different cultures and backgrounds and if possible, immersing myself in their culture. Iowa has many people from all over the world that have come to live and work here but one thing I have noticed is the lack of areas in which people from other cultures can congregate and claim a part of the city or town they live in as their own.
I attended a service trip to San Francisco last spring through Northeast Iowa Community College and that trip had a huge affect me and they way I perceived large cities. I was amazed at the way people from different ethnicities all had their own little corner of the city and yet everyone still got along. Understanding where your neighbor comes from and what their cultures and traditions consist of is a tremendous part of knowing who they are at their core. When you understand someone from the inside out it makes it that much easier to relate to them and figure out a way to construct a beneficial relationship. Lack of cultural understanding is a hindrance to discovering ourselves and making connections and friendships across the globe. One of the most important actions we can take as human beings is to, as they say, “Walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” This breaks down barriers and opens us up to new opportunities we never thought possible.
Posted on Aug 9, 2011
at 5:58 PM
Today was another eventful (and long) day with Leadership Iowa University. We started out at the State Capital Building and had a tour there, we also talked with various lobbyists and we had the honor of meeting Governor Branstad. After the capital we went to Pella, Iowa and had a tour at Pella Corporation. When we finished at Pella Corp. we went to a networking event at Tassel Ridge Winery. Our final event for the night was dinner at The Sports Page Grill where we met and talked with members of the area Rotary Club.
If there was one thing that stood out to me today that I would like to see implemented in my future community it would be the presence of a service organization like the Rotary Club. I thought it was interesting that after ending my day yesterday blogging about service we also ended our day today having discussions about serving our fellow man in our own communities and abroad. Having an organization that is as passionate about bettering their own community and the communities of others can be a huge asset to the citizens in that area. Like I mentioned yesterday, when you surround yourself with others passionate about service it can be contagious. Rotary Club International has done and is currently doing a tremendous job in helping others, the world would be a better place with more people like the members we met tonight.
Posted on Aug 9, 2011
at 5:54 PM
The greatest asset I have to contribute to the future success of Iowa is my passion for service and volunteering. While in AmeriCorps I grew to love service work, it is a great way to make connections with people outside of your social circle. I believe that that community involvement should be an integral part of everyones life no matter where you live. All too often the opportunities we have are taken for granted, from having access to a quality education to enjoying 3 meals a day. The presence of a group of people in a community to serve is a powerful force. Even if the work you are doing seems small it’s the fact that there are caring people willing to help that makes all the difference.
I am very excited for my next year at NICC because I will be doing something I love, volunteering and recruiting volunteers. When you meet someone who is truly passionate about serving others it can be contagious and I hope to be that person. I want to get people excited about service work and make as many connections with local businesses and non profit organizations as possible. In the future I hope to carry this passion for helping the less fortunate with me, wether it be at home or abroad.
I am extremely fortunate to have this opportunity to participate in Leadership Iowa University. The content of the program is something that I have not had much experience with and I am very excited to get started. I know that this program will benefit me and the people I work with for years to come. It is extremely important to understand what leadership is and how to me an effective leader and I am hopeful I will discover that through this program.