Community Involvement Opens Doors to Friendship & Opportunity

Alexandra J. Soto

9/16/2011

Alexandra J. Soto was looking for a work-study job when she first visited the S.O.U.L.S. Community Service & Service Learning Center. She got the job, but also gained unexpected opportunities and new friendships.

As a Campus Partnerships Service Scholar at the S.O.U.L.S. Center, Soto is responsible for creating and organizing service events for Suffolk University students.

Myriad responsibilities

“I serve as the face of the S.O.U.L.S. office on campus,” said Soto, who is organizing weekly service programs such as the Prison Book Program, Monday Night Supper Club and Saturdays of Service, along with monthly Food For Thought events and blood drives.

“I will also be in charge of promoting the different service opportunities that we have during Hunger and Homelessness Month and Breast Cancer Awareness month. There is a long list of responsibilities that I have, but I am ready.”

Support and Encouragement

Soto was encouraged along the way by high school friend Lina Rodriguez and Service Learning Director Carolina Garcia.

Garcia connected her with an after-school program at the Elliot School in the North End.

“I knew I wanted to work with children so I took the opportunity and loved it,” said Soto.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez had gotten involved in S.O.U.L.S. shortly after enrolling at the University and suggested that Soto do the same.

“Together we applied for Alternative Winter Break and Alternative Spring Break. She also suggested that I apply to be a mentor in the Connections 2 College program, and that was probably one of the best experiences I have ever had.”

Enriches college experience

Soto is studying Psychology and, in addition to her service-related activities, is part of the Wicked Dance Team. Yet she said that S.O.U.L.S. has had a significant impact on her college experience.

“I have gotten so many wonderful opportunities through the office and met so many wonderful people. I feel like I have a purpose whenever I work here.”

Her advice to other students considering service: “I believe people need to know that it is never too late to get involved. Even if you don't have much time to give, anything can help. There are many ways to get involved in the S.O.U.L.S. office. Just stop by and ask.”

This year's S.O.U.L.S. student leadership team includes Ana Vargas, Careese Peters, Curtis Blyden, Diana Arntz, Alexandra Soto and Lina Rodriguez.

This year's S.O.U.L.S. student leadership team includes Ana Vargas, Careese Peters, Curtis Blyden, Diana Arntz, Alexandra Soto and Lina Rodriguez. 

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