As our van rolled down a New Orleans street devastated by a recent tornado, I couldn't help but reflect upon how I arrived at this moment—my first Appalachia Volunteers service trip at Boston College.
Raised in Ronkomkoma, New York, I wasn’t focused on the Heights until my AP Literature teacher mentioned Boston College in class one day. I knew BC's alumni network was strong and its tradition was rooted in service to others, but nothing could have prepared me for how directly that mission would change my life.
I remember the day I received my scholarship letter. My mother was so excited—because without that gift from BC donors, I wouldn't have been able to attend Boston College. Today, I am a premed double major in psychology and economics, with a strong interest in neuroscience. I'm interested in understanding how the mind works and why people do what they do.
What do I do? In addition to my studies, I volunteer at Project Sunshine, an organization that works with children facing medical challenges at Franciscan Children’s in Brighton. We play, prepare meals, and prepare "Sending Sunshine" craft packages for children to enjoy while we're gone. Immersed in the lives of those kids and their families, I am moved outside of myself to simply be there for them—to touch their hearts. Not everyone has the opportunity to be here, which is why I will return this gift back to the world.
As our van made its way through the storm's ruin, I reflected upon how Boston College has formed me—given me new eyes to see the world and new tools to make an impact. I've even discovered my calling to be a doctor. I aspire to provide free clinical work and services to areas of greatest need, like New Orleans, because now I am a "woman for others."
I want to thank BC donors for their generosity, something beyond the explanations of neuroscience. Thank you for believing in BC. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for believing in me.