Lindsey S. Smith I am a first-generation college student at Salve Regina University and majoring in Social Work and Spanish. I am proud and honored to have the opportunity to attend college as my family has faced many financial challenges that could have affected my chance to study at a university. My family has always taught me to love, help and appreciate everyone by giving back to the community even when we might not have that much ourselves. By attending Salve Regina, I found a likeminded community of individuals who cared so deeply about their community. I connected with them instantly due to their dedicated and caring nature as Salve is a group of students and individuals who strive to help those in the surrounding area and towns. As a Service Advocate, volunteering at my placement has taught me so much about the different organizations in Newport and the numerous ways students can get involved. This opportunity will assist me as a future social worker because I had not worked with a not-for-profit organization this closely before. I have created such a strong bond with the founders and students which has been such a wonderful experience.
Community service and helping those in need has been a core value of mine since I was young. Encouraging change, being the change, and advocating for change is very important in society as there are many injustices facing minority communities and those who are less fortunate. As a Social Work and Spanish double major at Salve Regina University, I have had the opportunity to become a Service Advocate for the Newport String Project at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. The Newport String Project is a not-for-profit organization that strives to provide affordable music education to the youth of Newport and its surrounding communities. I volunteer two days a week and am honored to help teach the students who have a great passion for music and learning. With COVID, it has been difficult for everyone, but seeing how music can impact and bring joy to these children proves resilience and determination which is inspiring. If I am selected to be the Newman Civic Fellowship nominee, I will strive to help more individuals in my community leading to social change, as no act of kindness is too small.