Daphne Gallegos, a Biology and French double major at Whitman College, will influence our nation's future in amazing and powerful ways, just as she's already influencing our community and our campus today. Unlike any other Whitman student, Daphne has been an extraordinary and committed participant in, and then leader of, our College's two most intensive civic engagement opportunities - our Summer Community OutReach Excursion for incoming first-year students and our Spring Break Service Learning trips initiative for upper-level students, both of which help students spend a week in a new location meeting community leaders and participating in meaningful work projects with local partners. Equally significant, Daphne draws on what she has learned from these opportunities, along with insights from her personal story as a first generation college student and as an academic polymath, to pose challenging questions about the world around her, to bring empathy to her interactions with area residents, and to ensure that she understands root causes of a social issue before she proposes solutions. Through the kindness and curiosity that she brings to every conversation, Daphne is adapt at helping people around her feel included and valued. She inspires hope for the next generation.
My parents never failed to remind me that it takes a village to raise a child. A strong appreciation for community was therefore instilled in me very early in my life. Today, I seek to become a part of the communities in which I take up space, through strong direct service and education to build similar communities that have cultivated and empowered me as a leader. My leadership strategy is to support other future leaders. Through programs such as Whitman's service and education oriented programs, mentoring youth at local elementary schools, and involvement with first-generation/working-class students on and off-campus, I have established sustainable and mutual relationships with others, empowering them to find their voice in leadership. Passionate about these valuable connections made through service, I find both personal and large-scale opportunities to engage with those around me. I have served as the president of our campus's First-Generation/Working-Class club, led programs for future FG/WC students, led and participated in five different Spring Break Service Trips and Summer Community Outreach Excursions, and participated in several other programs which connect me to local youth. I aim to continue to guide others to find where their passion for leadership lies.