Encouraging Peers to Experience Service Learning

Ana Vargas

9/26/2011

Ana Vargas is on a mission: She is working to increase the already impressive number of Suffolk University students engaged in community service through the S.O.U.L.S. Community Service & Service Learning Center.

Vargas is the center’s communications and development service scholar this year, handling social media publicity and helping to develop corporate partnerships.

“The message of S.O.U.L.S. is simple; you have all the power to make a difference,” said Vargas. “I think what S.O.U.L.S. stands for above all else is working together toward a greater community.”

Long inspired to work for a just world by her parents’ example, Vargas is continually trying to connect other students and University courses to the greater good.

She is a Psychology major, and her work with S.O.U.L.S. has sparked an interest in community psychology -- and a possible career path.

Vargas’s connection with S.O.U.L.S. began with a work-study job, but she soon realized that the Center offered the opportunity to make an impact on her community. In addition to her efforts in the University and Boston communities, Vargas traveled to Georgia to work on a Habitat for Humanity project during the 2011 alternative spring break.

Service Learning Director Carolina Garcia has served as a mentor from the beginning, and Vargas admires the work she and her S.O.U.L.S. colleagues do in “helping students become more involved and really creating this message of social change across the Suffolk campus.”

Vargas said that the student leaders also have a significant role to play in promoting community service.

“We have a great staff this year to help with service needs, and we will continue to spread the message of S.O.U.L.S. through our combined efforts,” she said. Her media efforts are part of that picture.

“Last semester we had a big issue with promoting our events and sometimes would worry that students would not show,” she said. “I believe that as the year progressed, we were able to get a grasp on new ways to reach the Suffolk students so that they were informed of ongoing service events.”

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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