Major: Art History/ Visual Arts
Hometown: Fairfield, CT
At the start of my sophomore year I was at the Student Activities Fair and feeling totally overwhelmed. Just as I was about to make a run for the exit one of my friends reached over a table and grabbed me. She pointed to the sign for SmART and said, "I think you would really like this." So I signed up. I enjoyed SmART so much that I took over as Co-President that next semester and have never missed a mentoring session!
I have learned so much from working with kids. It is one of the most satisfying things I do. They have taught me that it's not only about the finished product. It's about the process. It's okay to spend all day twisting pipe-cleaners into funny shapes without ever making anything, as long as you had a good time. And I have learned how to stay positive and encouraging without sounding fake. My first mentee called me out for saying that everything she did was "awesome". Ever since then, I have been working on ways to be encouraging while being sincere and honest at the same time.
In talking with the principal of West Harpswell Elementary, he told us that a few of our mentees had particularly hard lives and always seemed sad and alone in their classes. After hearing that I made it my goal to keep everyone smiling throughout our mentoring sessions. Serving the common good means extending this effort out into the real world. I have found that smiling, even on the saddest day, can sometimes make your problems seem a little smaller. A random act of kindness can make such a difference in a person's day. Serving the common good means being the best person that you can be without worrying what everyone else around you is doing.