Mary Sessions, a junior at John Carroll University, is a student leader with a longstanding commitment to social justice and advocacy, particularly around issues of youth development and public health. As a member of the Arrupe Scholars program and a Student Liaison for the Center for Service and Social Action, Mary guides fellow students in community engagement activities in greater Cleveland and facilitates reflections around root causes. Mary is also a Peer Health Advocate, serves on the Campus Sustainability Committee, and has participated in Campus Ministry’s immersion programs. These experiences have shaped Mary’s vocational interest in the nonprofit and public sector, where she aspires to advance justice and equity in her future career.
Throughout my life I developed a great affinity for service and social justice. I have come to this interest through my education and seeing both my own privileges and the injustices so many individuals face in their daily lives. My volunteer experiences include tutoring high performing students with unstable home lives, working in a clinical setting helping connect patients and their families to social resources, traveling to Appalachia where I learned about environmental sustainability, and working with children with disabilities in creative and sports setting. All of these experiences illustrate for me the need for social justice, as well as taught me about strength, perseverance and joy. I also work in The Center for Service and Social Action where I lead other students in service assignments, community engagement, and facilitate reflections. In addition to having numerous volunteer experiences, I am also passionate about advocacy. I am a member of the Arrupe Scholars Program which focuses on educating its students on global social justice issues while also teaching students how to be advocates for social change. If we want to see social change, we need to be able to look at root causes of problems and address them from the source.