Elizabeth Porter, Whitworth University
Elizabeth Porter, a third-year student at Whitworth University, is a student leader actively committed to advancing inclusion in K-12 education. For three years she has worked to build and adapt diversity training on our campus and to grow a program to teach civil rights’ history in K-12 public schools in Spokane. She has built partnerships between campus groups and local organizations advancing diversity. She has drawn her fellow students into service, providing diversity training to our faculty and staff on campus and leading civil rights’ history lessons in our public schools. With her persistence and her charisma, Elizabeth builds bridges across difference. Even in the gospel choir that she leads, Elizabeth has brought together students of all races, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds to sing in harmony. With a goal of graduate study in education around curriculum reform, Elizabeth is committed to a lifetime of personal and professional service to bring equity and inclusion to education for underrepresented and underserved students.
-Dr. Beck Taylor, President, Whitworth University
From the time I was young, service was engrained in me. It was expected to help others and to know your neighbors in the communities I have grown up in. Service for me means moving beyond myself; it also means sharing the connections that I have established in the communities I am surrounded by. That means bringing college students, K-12 students, white students, students of color, international students and others together to know each other’s stories. It also means having great humility, compassion and an open mind. My commitment to service will never change even as time goes on because with service comes a learning opportunity and great rewards. Over time I have come to learn that those you serve can teach you twice as much as you could ever teach them and that is what I find to be so unique and significant in my work. I know that service is not just something I do, but is also something that is being done towards me. Those whom I serve are actually doing a service to me by helping me to explore new ideas, further my character and teaching me more than I can ever learn in school.