Emily Green, a junior Chemistry major at Tennessee Wesleyan, is a passionate student leader active in addressing issues of hunger and poverty in her community. For the last two years, she has been a regular volunteer with the Love Thy Neighbor Project, a client-choice food bank that serves families from low-income communities. She has developed close relationships with many of the individuals this program serves and has learned a lot about the challenges facing food-insecure households, which she uses to educate her peers and recruit new volunteers. Most recently, Emily has helped launch a new initiative, Mobile Food Pantries, which are farmers' market-type events set up in churches and schools in remote areas of McMinn County. These events serve families who live in food deserts and might lack transportation to visit the regular food bank. Emily is an outstanding young woman who is an excellent example for her peers, and her enthusiasm for serving others is contagious.
Since coming to Tennessee Wesleyan, I have been given many opportunities to serve. My most meaningful experiences have been through the Love Thy Neighbor Project, which has provided over 500 low-income families with food assistance. I have served with this project since it began in 2013 and have come to know many of our clients very well. Being able to hear their stories has opened my eyes to all of the hardships and unexpected obstacles that life can throw our way. However, what strikes me the most is the kindness and gratitude of these individuals. It amazes me that they can remain so positive even when facing such difficult circumstances, and it has taught me a lot about how I want to live my life. These families have humbled me and blessed my life in ways that I never expected. I plan to take my love for service and integrate it into all aspects of my life, both present and future. You can learn a lot about people based on where they spend their time and their money. I believe that if I have the ability to give, I must do so.