Eliane Heller, a junior at Rollins College, is committed to lifting up the voices of underrepresented populations in her community and beyond through her advocacy work. Since the fall of 2017, Ellie has volunteered for more than 700 hours in the Central Florida community. As a first-year student, Ellie mentored youth at the Central Florida Coalition for the Homeless on a weekly basis. During her sophomore year, Ellie worked with the PACE Center for Girls, where she not only assisted students with their academic work, but also served as a mentor and confidant during counseling sessions. She has a gift for lifting up youth that are facing adversity. Her dedication to service extends well beyond the academic year. This past summer, Ellie participated in a summer of service in Cusco, Peru where she taught English and vocational skills to youth with disabilities. It is clear that Ellie Heller will continue her great work in the community beyond her time at Rollins College. She epitomizes public service and the legacy of Frank Newman.
My first experience with service was with the Foundation for Foster Children during my junior and senior years of high school. I found through my time and service here, that dedicating myself to helping others and aiming to positively impact the world around me was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. This experience led to my involvement in the Bonner Leaders Program at Rollins College. This is a program for students who are passionate about social justice and want to commit to serving and bettering their community. Through the Bonner Program, I have been able to work with the Coalition for the Homeless, PACE Center for Girls and currently with The League of Women Voters. Through these nonprofits I have been able to build relationships in my community and serve those who are typically voiceless in our society. These experiences have helped shape who I am and discover my passion--to work as a civil rights lawyer with a nonprofit and focus on advocating for those left behind in the system.