Being a Richter Center Student Leader (RCSL) allows us students the opportunity to take our experiences with service and be resources for our peers in order to help them engage in service. In February, RCSL had engaged in an annual retreat to reflect on what we have done thus far, what we are working on now, and what lies ahead for us. In addition to that, we attended the Change the Status Quo conference at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
This conference circled around the many issues we face as a community and dense issues to think about in service that one doesn’t normally take into account. This gave our leadership team members a chance to explore their own personal interests. For example, I went to a seminar called “Paper Oppressed/Undocumented Students: Opportunities for changing the status quo.” This seminar taught us about what it means to be an undocumented student and the challenges an undocumented student faces. As Fresno State students living in the Central Valley, this is a heavy topic for us and served as a reminder that the people we serve are all from different backgrounds and have their own stories. This seminar challenged me to go beyond what I already know and understand how to interact with what I don’t and learn more. Similarly, even as an Ambassador of service, I myself still have much to explore in the realm of service. Fellow Ambassador’s Juan Alejandre and Jove Alcazar learned about a program called Engineers Without Borders, in which students that study engineering can apply their experiences abroad with service. They plan to charter this organization at our Fresno State campus this year! Ambassador Lilliana Toste wants to volunteer in a prison after attending a seminar about “Incarceration and Society” and learning how prisons are incredible understaffed.
At the conference, we had the opportunity to listen to motivational speaker Justin Zoradi, a social entrepreneur and founder of These Numbers Have Faces, an organization that provides social impact loans for talented scholars to attend top African universities.
Zoradi said something that spoke to me, and it was that as people who serve, our work will always be unfinished. However, we can set our work up for success and anticipate that future leaders will finish it out. This speaks volumes to the people that RCSL will continue to recruit and the way we pass on the spirit of service to future leaders. As a student leader, it is so hard to not try to do everything we can in the small amount of time we have here. I’m constantly surrounded by strong, ambitious go-getters that inspire me every day; and together we want to change the world for the better. Zoradi helped me understand that during my time as an Ambassador, I can try my hardest to reach out to students, put on a great Random Acts of Kindness Week, the upcoming National Volunteer Week and enlarge Fresno State’s capacity of service; and while I won’t finish it all, the great leaders following me will. Then they themselves will start something great to be finished by the next generation of leaders.
I came into RCSL with a passion for service and I have learned so much through that passion. I’m excited for what the future of RCSL holds and to see the impact of service on Fresno State’s campus even after I have graduated.
What inspires you? Do you surround yourself with leaders?
What great unfinished work will you leave behind?
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