Although he is in his first year, Derek Price has become a leader in the promotion of community engagement between the University and our local village of Ada. Derek is a bright and engaging young man. He has shown great ambition and leadership, particularly in his implementation of a Pay-it-Forward program this year. Derek built this program from scratch. His leadership acumen and thoughtful consideration of how the program fits within the broader community is to be commended. Derek sees his responsibility to use his skills to help those around him and make the world a better place. Derek, indeed, does make the world a better place.
I have always believed that each person in this world is given a distinct set of gifts which can be used for the betterment of society. I think it is our responsibility to use our skills to help those around us and to make the world a better place. This was an idea that truly started to bloom for me in college. In my first semester and a half, I have completed nearly 100 hours of community service and founded a pay-it-forward program. I serve as a student representative for our student government, I pitched in to help clean up the small town of Ada, and I have mentored a elementary school youth. I did not do these things for the recognition or the volunteer hours. I did them because I firmly believe that through helping others, not only do we become better people but we also create a greater sense of community. In my heart of hearts I know that life is not about the money you make but it is about the relationships you foster through helping others.