Gabriela Marrero, a student at Susquehanna University, is the Community Partnerships Service Scholar with the Johnson Center for Civic Engagement at Susquehanna, and has been involved with the Johnson Center since her first year. In this role, she works as a part of a student team to promote community engagement at Susquehanna through various outlets. Through many projects and accomplishments, Gabriela has exemplified the school's mission of Achievement, Leadership and Service. She has played an integral part in organizing and leading Susquehanna's capstone service events, SU GIVE (Get Into Volunteer Experience) and SERVE (SU Engaging in Regional Volunteer Experiences). In addition to her work with the Johnson Center, Gabriela leads Susquehanna's chapter of Habitat for Humanity, coordinating and leading students on numerous service trips throughout the Eastern United States. She is also a resident assistant through our Residence Life office, and was recently selected to be a Senior Community Assistant for First Year students. Gabriela has stated that she views civic engagement as a source of hope and social change, and she strives to instill this sentiment amongst her peers and throughout the community.
In my role as the Community Partnerships Service Scholar at the Johnson Center for Civic Engagement, I have the privilege of introducing Susquehanna University students to the wonderful service organizations in our surrounding communities. During the summer of 2016, I had the honor of planning one of Susquehanna's most treasured traditions, SU G.I.V.E. (Get Into Volunteer Experiences.) Through that program, over 650 incoming first-year students served 46 community organizations. Our community organizations that we partner with range in services such as youth programming, homelessness awareness, poverty awareness, community center care, church renovations, elderly assistance, and animal care. The intention of SU G.I.V.E. is to introduce the students to both the social issues within our community and the organizations that help combat those issues. I hope to be that connection between students and community partners that creates meaningful experiences for both parties.
It is easy to be blind to the issues in the surrounding community while on a college campus. However, civic engagement can be a source of hope and social change. Through my leadership roles, it is my aspiration to instill a passion for civic engagement in my peers through future programming and collaborations focused on supporting our beloved community.