Sarah Jane Phillips, a second year student at the State University of New York at Geneseo, is an optimist who knows that one person can improve the world for many. Her major in Communication has nurtured talents she has put to work for the community. A determined advocate for civic engagement, she serves as a Vote Everywhere Campus Ambassador, mentoring and leading other students into participation in local and national elections. Her volunteer service stretches across the community, and she has been a leader in Geneseo's highly successful Relay for Life program in support of the American Cancer Society. She deeply believes in the efficacy of individual and collective action and has outstanding potential to lead others in creating a better world.
On a trip to Ecuador I saw hunger and poverty up close. When I came home I learned that 16 million American children were living in poverty and 48 million don't get nutritious food on a regular basis. I realized that whether in Ecuador or America, the causes may be different but the outcome is the same-feelings of despair, and a belief that nothing will change and that no one cares. That is why I do what I can each day to share my passion, my encouragement and my time.
I became a GOLD program mentor because I could see that sometimes encouraging leadership and offering assistance to fellow students helps new students who feel alone or who might need assistance to fit in and solve problems or identify opportunities to volunteer and participate. That is also why I volunteered to be an ambassador for the Andrew Goodman Foundation to work to increase participation by reducing voter apathy and to help better inform and assist student voters. I have also volunteered to be VP of membership at Sigma Kappa with the goal of increasing enrollment so that we will have even more resources for our local community outreach activities.