Service at Vanderbilt and Beyond
Being at a school like Vanderbilt comes with a lot of privilege: I am able to study things I am interested in and have rich experiences thanks to the environment that my school provides. Something that has become increasingly important to me throughout my time at Vanderbilt is giving back to others in the way that my school and the people that make up my community have given to me.
One major way that I and many other Vanderbilt students engage in service is through alternative breaks. You can read my previous posts on Alternative Spring Break, the service organization through which I have been able to participate in service during Vanderbilt’s spring break. The service opportunities through this organization are widely varied, from work with children, to the environment, to health and wellness. This has been a really great foray into service for me, and has taught me the value of being an active citizen even after spring break ends.
Additionally, something I became involved in earlier this year was volunteer work at the Park Center in Nashville. This community center provides services to those with severe mental illness and substance abuse problems. Through the Park Center I am able to tutor two members each week so that they can work towards obtaining their GED. Something really cool about Vanderbilt’s service program is that the school has cars and vans that you can rent for free if you want to volunteer off-campus, which really encourages engagement with service organizations in the Nashville area.
There are so many opportunities for service at Vanderbilt, and we have an office fully dedicated to active citizenship and service so that students can utilize their privilege to help others around them. Volunteering is definitely a work-in-progress for me and something that I want to become more involved in as time continues. Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions regarding life at Vanderbilt, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.