1) What is your major?
Sociology with an Environmental Science minor.
2) What have you discovered about yourself while being here at Georgia College?
Because of all of the amazing departments and goals established by Georgia College, I discovered how much I love to learn. Although I liked school growing up, I could never imagine myself feeling so passionate about what I was being taught. Especially with the university’s liberal arts mission, I was able to engross myself in such a wide variety of topics. The liberal arts mission also helped me understand the way I think. I recognized that I often connect concepts from one class to another, or even implement them into work or extracurricular activities. While my major and minor seem to be two separate entities, I made connections between social and natural worlds which led me to several incredible opportunities.
3) What made you become interested in nonprofit management?
The many causes that nonprofits tend to focus on have impacted me from a young age. I grew up as one of the eldest of many young cousins so I always loved working and volunteering with kids. I was very lucky to live near beautiful physical features and took an interest in conservation. I also recognized my privilege based on the amount of people living in poverty nearby. I occasionally took part in volunteer projects growing up, but I did not think about my career in the sector until later in high school. In a marketing class, we were given the opportunity to campaign for a variety of organizations and I thought nonprofits were the most worthy of our attention and efforts.
4) What does it mean to you, having received a US certificate for non-profit management, being a Giving Tree nominee and having received a Bobcat award recently?
It means everything to me. I feel so lucky to have been able to attend one of the few universities in the state and the southern region which partners with the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance. This accrediting organization has given me so many opportunities to prepare for and network within the sector. Being nominated and receiving awards from campus life feels incredible. Everything I have accomplished at Georgia College is all thanks to The GIVE Center. This unique department has given myself and thousands of other students the chance to volunteer, grow as a leader and make lasting friendships. While I am so thankful for the recognition, I would not have been able to accomplish my goals and complete my projects without the support of The GIVE Center faculty, staff and volunteers.
5) What have you gained from your undergraduate experience here at Georgia College?
My education was obviously a huge gain from my experience. Sociology and Environmental Science have completely changed my perspective, actions and lifestyle. I also became a much more outgoing and confident person. Excited about the different topics and class styles, I became much more interactive than I ever would have expected. I speak up in conversations and feel comfortable in more places even if I don’t know many people. The opportunities and the friendships are what I am most thankful for. Georgia College is so supportive of student initiatives, making it easy to get involved or to start your own organization. All of my extracurriculars led me to some of my best friends that I know will be in my life long after graduation.
6) What experience have you had with people who are different from you?
Gamma Sigma Sigma is the nonselective co-ed service sorority on campus. Part of the organization's mission is diversity and inclusion. While the group’s membership is diverse in a variety of aspects, we all share a love for giving back to the community. I would not have met sio many of my friends were it not for the organization, and I am so thankful to Gamma Sig for bringing us together. This group of servant leaders show the positive impact, compassion and diversity can bring to a community. Other volunteer projects have led me to community members and partners that grew up very differently than I have. I had many opportunities to work with incredible people who grew up in Milledgeville, who work hard to make their community a better place. My educational experiences also led me to new perspectives. My Nonprofit and Sustainability Certifications especially, which require a unique set of courses. I was able to collaborate with a lot of different people who broadened my perspective and lead to unique projects.
7) What is your most memorable experience here at Georgia College?
One of my most memorable experiences was a simple picnic with the students of the Nonprofit Leadership Student Association. It was the weekend right before finals last year on a sunny day on front campus. Seniors were given their cords and stoles as well as picture frames with notes from all the members. We also recognized the new executive board and our former advisor who was retiring after being committed to the program for several years. The members of this organization were all interested in different causes and professions within the social sector, yet shared the passion of giving back to the community. It was emotional to say goodbye to those who were leaving, but exciting to start the new school year with unique programs and collaborations we had never taken on before.
8) Where do you see yourself in five years?
I am not entirely sure where I will be in five years. I am open to living almost anywhere, but I at least see myself living with a dog in a walkable city with a great farmers market. I hope to have graduated from Indiana University with my MPA -and possibly a dual degree- working in a position where I can make a significant difference in the community. I also see myself working with the new nonprofit founded by Parkland Survivors called Students for Change (SFC) - empowering students of all ages to get involved in non-partisan advocacy. I hope to come back to Georgia College to see the on campus SFC chapter thriving, as well as significant growth from the Central State Redevelopment Authority projects. I hope to still be volunteering, working with diverse groups of people, and staying connected to everyone who made a difference during my time at Georgia College.