“Language is not the only difference that separates countries. Rather, language, as it connects to culture, values, and customs, creates a society.”
Alissa Barnard has a thing about adoption.
As vice president of service for Circle K International, Alissa decides upon and coordinates multiple volunteering opportunities for club members. There is the Adopt-a-Shelter program, where volunteers help out every other Sunday at the Gadsden County Humane Society. Once a semester, volunteers Adopt-a-Preschool that is located in a low-income area, spending time with the children and helping to revamp school facilities. Through the Adopt-a-School program, volunteers help Pineview Elementary second graders study for the FCAT. And a local Tallahassee road is cleaned on a monthly basis through the Adopt-a-Street program.
One of Alissa’s largest roles is that of chair of Circle K’s Service Committee, which she created last fall. These ten committee members put together one expensive, time-consuming event each semester, contributing hundreds of hours through canned food drives, fundraisers, donation solicitations, and planning. They have adopted the Lake Ella Manor retirement community and will hold a Senior Prom for the residents on April 7th.
“Attuned to numbers and business ideas,” Alissa as a freshman thought the College of Business would be a good fit. She was invited into the Honors program, stayed with the major, and is now specializing in Multinational Business Operations.
Being “keen on language,” she decided to minor in Spanish. Then she co-founded an informal language group for non-native Spanish speakers. They meet weekly to practice and to discuss cultures. Last year through FSU’s International Programs, she studied in Valencia, Spain. This life-changing experience was her first extended stay outside of the U.S. Alissa says, “I learned that language is not the only difference that separates countries. Rather, language, as it connects to culture, values, and customs, creates a society.” Spain cemented her intention to live and work abroad and, while there, perhaps pursue a graduate degree.
She’s currently seeking a position with a company that maintains international subsidiaries or that deals with governments worldwide. With her academic record—Honors, Dean’s List every semester, and Who’s Who Among College Students—and the recent recognition of her community service—the Student Profiles of Service Award—and her penchant for adoption of subjects, places, and people, she won’t have any difficulty.