Jacqueline K. Ruhl, a senior at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, is a student who has overcome extreme odds to complete her baccalaureate degree. Jacqueline is a nontraditional student with thirteen children from her blended family with nine of them still living in her home. As an underprepared student, she was required to take several remedial courses at the start of her university career, earning only three hours of credit during her first semester. She dropped out for several years, but eventually re-enrolled and has become an outstanding student with the ultimate goal of attending law school and becoming a family law attorney. She engages in many volunteer activities connected with her church and her children. She serves meals at the church and has prepared food bags for the Stamp Out Hunger organization. She will serve as a wonderful role model for young people as her story speaks to dedication and perseverance.
When I think of public service, I think of those serving others in a professional as well as personal capacity. Public servants such as educators, law enforcement officials, social workers, and government workers at all levels are providing public service. Volunteers in many arenas are also public servants. Without volunteers working in communities and in virtually every organization, the public good would suffer.
The value of public service is beyond measure. Civic organizations, the faith-based community, and the arts and cultural fields all rely heavily on volunteers to provide service to others. I hope to give back more to my community and the public once I complete my education. It is my goal to apply to law school once I finish my undergraduate degree. I see myself pursuing a career in family law and hope to assist families in crisis with legal guidance.
I believe in the power of public service and have helped to serve meals at my church, welcomed people into my church, made thank you calls to donors who have given to NWOSU students, prepared food bags for Stamp Out Hunger, and I have taken kids Christmas caroling for the elderly in my community. Giving back to our communities creates a valuable and humbling experience that I look forward to doing more of in the future. I believe public service helps people become better individuals by providing them with a real sense of purpose. As a non-traditional student, I hope to serve as a leader to younger students by modeling the impact of public service. As a mother, I hope my children will share their time and talents with others as well. For these reason, I believe in the good associated with the Newman Civic Fellowship Program. I hope to learn from the experiences I could gain from participating in the program.