Laura Gerrick, a junior biochemistry major at Stevenson University, embodies the ethics of service and civic engagement as a student-leader on our campus. Laura is an Honors student and a Presidential Scholarship recipient who has excelled academically. Her dedication to her academics and service has inspired students around her. Laura is one of Stevenson’s inaugural Leadership Scholars, which gives her the opportunity to engage in leadership education through personal exploration, community engagement, and collaborative problem solving. Through this selective leadership program, she has been able to hone her skills to be a more effective president of Mission: I’m Home, an organization that plans alternative breaks. As the Mission: I’m Home president, she leads Stevenson’s efforts to help rebuild homes destroyed by natural disasters, such as Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey. In addition to leading these larger out-of-state projects, Laura has also planned shorter-term projects in the Baltimore community for our Service Scholars to complete during Service Weekends.
My passion for service was ignited during my freshman year of college when I joined Stevenson University’s alternative break program, Mission: I’m Home, on a trip to rebuild homes damaged by natural disasters. It is both heartbreaking and incredibly rewarding to be a part of these experiences as I see firsthand what it is like for families to lose their homes, but then can help them return. One of the most impactful experiences on a trip I had was meeting a family member of a house that we had just finished putting drywall back in. When she went inside she was crying out of appreciation about the walls being back up in her home. It was at that point, that I realized how often it is that we take simple things in life for granted. Now, as the President of this student organization, my main goal is to organize service opportunities for students to engage locally in Baltimore and nationwide. For me, it is rewarding to watch other students learn firsthand about some of the social issues that require our help and inspire them to involve themselves further in causes that truly make a difference in the lives of others.