Belinda Atta, a junior public administration major and first-generation college student, is an exemplary civic leader in a variety of capacities. She is involved in leadership roles with Bobcat Build, the largest service project on the Texas State University San Marcos Campus, and the second largest in the state of Texas, dedicated to identifying, addressing, and solving many community-based needs in the city of San Marcos. She has also volunteered with the Hays County Food Bank, Pflugerville Public Library, and Adventist Community Service. As co-chair of Bobcat Build, she challenges students to expand their thinking of how the homes are different by discussing contributing factors and various identities that the residents hold. She was also a resident assistant in fall 2018, where she organized an event centered around how students living in residence halls could implement change within their community.
I find purpose in being involved in my community. I can gain important life skills, connect and network with others, and challenge my capacity to be compassionate when I am able to give back to my community. I have learned to see that for social issues to be addressed and solved, we must educate those who lack knowledge about specific communities of people. We should empower the powerless to enable them to advocate for themselves. No one knows what is needed more than those that are in need. Space should be provided for different communities to allow them to have a safe place to empower each other to act and support each other through tough times. As a leader, I think it is important that whomever I oversee is able to have their voice heard. It makes for a more impactful service experience, and there are a hundred perfectly good ways to serve others. The more people you have working to do that, the more innovative and worthwhile your service is.