Michelle Baptista is a sophomore at Salve Regina University. She is a hard-working student that is passionate about her studies in social work. She also holds a minor in biology and wishes to one day hopefully obtain a career in either healthcare social work or child and family welfare. Other than her academics, Michelle dedicates much of her time to community service on and off campus. Before her time at Salve, Michelle was just as dedicated to community service. Her favorite memory volunteering before college, was in 2012 when she spent two months of the summer in the primary care center of Memorial Hospital, located in her hometown. This was especially memorable because the nurses and doctors were always so welcoming to her, they valued her work, and they made her feel a part of the team. She also spent many hours volunteering in other places such as her local library, the local soup kitchen and her church. Once Michelle decided to come to Salve, she immediately knew that community service would be just as important to her especially because Salve is such a small close-knit community and Newport is a very quaint and special city. Michelle began her freshman year at Salve as a participant in the 2014 Service Plunge in which she completed a total of 17 hours of service all around the island in which they volunteered at various places like Fort Adams, Trinity Church, and the McKinney Shelter. She also continued her freshman year as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program in which she is still now volunteering at with the same little. Now, Michelle is committed to the Service Advocate Program in which she is dedicated to completing a total of 100 hours of service at Child and Family Services by the end of her sophomore year. All of these service experiences have enhanced her experience as a Salve student and has helped her to make new friends, learn about herself, the community that surrounds.
Community service has been an important part of my life for many, many years. Coming from a town that is a strong, diverse, close-knit community in which there are many opportunities to help others out, is what originally sparked my interest. Whether it was volunteering at a 5K run in my local park in honor of a fallen soldier from my hometown, or helping stock books in the children's section of my local library, whatever I could be a part of, made me feel genuinely good. After so many years, community service has just become such a regular part of my life that it really doesn't even feel like service. When it comes down to it, the reason I commit myself to serving my community is because I would like to think that I can make a change in the community around me and even if it is only one person, that feeling in itself is so worth it.