Update us! What has been going on with you since you went through the Student Service Program (SSP)? What are you doing now?

Since the SSP, I graduated from Johns Hopkins where I majored in History and International Studies. Now, I am about to start my first year at Columbia Law School.

Would you say the SSP influenced your life? If so, how?

Yes, for sure! The SSP helped me find ways to always look at all my goals from the perspective of how I can help people. It made me really confident in my ability to reach out to people and build community. It also empowered me to have the initiative to be involved in my community in both big and small ways.

What is your favorite memory from the program?

When we installed the water filters in Flint and got to speak with the people who lived in the house. The woman told us a lot about the water crisis and how it impacted her community, as well as how the problem was part of a much wider problem in Michigan and the US, overall. I loved being able to see this huge issue from the perspective of one family, and it really taught me how important it is to prioritize the lived experiences of people and listen to those going through these kinds of situations.

Anything you would like to tell future SSP members?

To definitely make the most of the program by going to all the different events, and to make sure to actually talk to the people in the community they’re working with.

Final thoughts about the program?

This program was so impactful for me, I still talk to people about how much I enjoyed it and all I got from it. I wish more communities had programs like this, I think it gave all of us in the SSP useful perspectives and really taught us the value of giving back to your community.