Natalie Marratto, a third year student at Stevenson University, is an active leader in service related to education and the community. For the past two years, she has participated in the Timber Grove Tiger Mentors program at Stevenson University, serving as a role model for underprivileged elementary school youth. She has also been engaged in service work with local Baltimore community non-profit organizations through Fall Serve as well as spent six months living, working, and studying in South Africa. During that time, she volunteered at a primary school where she planned interactive learning activities for children living in a local township. Natalie is also a member of the Stevenson University Service Scholars, which is a merit-based award. This prestigious honor requires service-learning coursework and ongoing community service work as well as group reflection activities throughout participants' time at Stevenson.
Since my first semester at Stevenson University, I have felt it essential to serve my community. Through Stevenson University's Service Scholars Program, I connected with various movements on campus and nonprofit organizations in Baltimore. In my sophomore year of college, I studied abroad in South Africa through a service-learning program. I volunteered in an impoverished township by teaching English vocabulary and facilitating activities for kindergarten students. While serving the school and the students, I learned about the history of the South African government and their politics which has had an adverse impact on the community. Having witnessed the complexities of the underprivileged township, I began to consider the similar complexities of the Baltimore community. Since my return to the States, I resumed serving at a local elementary school in a mentoring program that I helped create during my freshman year. My ambition is to help better combat socio-economic issues through mentoring and providing better education to students from diverse backgrounds. By joining with nonprofit organizations in the Baltimore metropolis, I believe Stevenson students can create an even more sustainable and effective difference in the lives of young children.