Axel Bayingana, a sophomore at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore is an actively engaged student leader who epitomizes a rare breed of outstanding scholarship and virtuous maturity. Mr. Bayingana's commitment to undertaking progressively responsible leadership roles on campus and beyond, have clearly revealed to him the reality of the current social and economic environment of this region. Therefore, he has welcomed the opportunity to educate his contemporaries about the importance of community outreach through volunteerism. He understands the impact that volunteers have on the health and well-being of communities and how volunteers make a difference in the day-to-day life of many people in the eastern shore area. These opportunities allow Axel to be able to increase his knowledge of community need and civic responsibility.
I can relate to some of the challenges facing my community, like poverty, in Somerset County, Maryland. My family instilled in me the values of helping others at a young age, so I am passionate about helping others. The University of Maryland Eastern Shore does a great job in providing us students with opportunities to engage in community service. I am consistently one of the volunteers because it is a great feeling to be able to make someone else life easier and better or make a difference in a community. I have contributed to multiple community service projects, but my favorite is the Chesapeake Housing Mission ramp build projects. We (UMES students) build a ramp for a disabled person or an elderly individual to make it easier for them to get in or out the house. At the end of every project, we get to meet the people we build the ramp for, to see them happy and grateful, and to know that I contributed to make that person very happy, it is a priceless feeling. So I think if more people gave their time to help others or the community, we would have better communities.