Elise Cardot, a second-year student at Davis & Elkins College, is a student leader focused on building a more just and peaceful society through matters of faith and spirituality. Dedicated to creating a more vibrant and better world for all, she has served as a student leader in spiritual life helping other students, faculty, and staff members consider how their faith can create a more nonviolent and equitable society. After being selected to attend a national conference on nurturing interfaith relationships, Elise led a highly successful campus-wide effort food drive that included educational components which challenged our community to consider why there are so many people in the greater region of Appalachia suffering from food insecurity. Elise is a natural leader with incredible self-discipline, intellectual capacity, and a charisma that allows her to effectively lead with charming grace. The energy she has garnered for her efforts towards spiritual life and social justice have been inspiring, and she possesses much potential for positive change in our world.
I was raised in a house of giving. My father taught me that self-satisfaction starts with service. After years of volunteering, giving, and serving, I can say he was absolutely correct. My well-being begins with care for others. I do not give aid to the community for the sake of resumes or just to be seen as a "good Samaritan." I do all I can for my community because it deserves respect and care, and creating something better makes me better. I can never do enough for my community, but I can start by being present and willing.
My campus did not have a structured worship service. Faith is the root of my being, so to satisfy my need of service, and with those who also expressed interest, we began the process of creating a community on campus that would worship and serve together. After building a social structure of faith, we began to reach out in the community and meet their needs. Civic service can come from any passion, but service can be more meaningful when it also meets the needs of those willing and present.