“Community service has given me some of the greatest experiences of my life and has molded me into the person I've become. It gives my life meaning.”
Amanda Mello, who graduates this month, remembers the highlights of her college experience.
“Attending the Service Leadership Seminar the week before my freshman year was a great way to begin life at Florida State. You get plugged in to volunteer opportunities, meet other students, team-build, and network with leaders. It opened doors for me and enabled me to participate in the Service Scholar Program, which promotes civic engagement and service learning.
“Community service has given me some of the greatest experiences of my life and has molded me into the person I’ve become. It gives my life meaning. Knowing I’ve helped someone is an indescribably great feeling.
“I was born in Brazil, moving to Florida when I was seven, so I speak Portuguese. Majoring in International Affairs is a perfect fit because I love to travel. Studying French will give me a wide range of places to work, including Africa, where I hope to help with human rights issues—education, healthcare, and gender violence.
“I really enjoy my service trips abroad. Through my stepfather’s non-government organization, World Hope Missions Ministry, I translate for the medical volunteers that travel by boat up and down the Amazon River basin. We visit small native communities that otherwise do not have access to medical attention, and people who surely would have died had the doctors not been there. Every trip is different. Some stay close to Manaus, the capital city of the Amazon state, and some can take us a full day’s ride deep in the jungle.
“During my summer internship in Geneva, with the Global Hope Network, a humanitarian aid organization, I saw the hard work that is required for the success of international projects. Global Hope was investigating possible projects in Kenya and Syria. I researched each country’s popular and religious culture, their economic, educational, and political status, agriculture, and health concerns. The experience cemented my desire to pursue a career in international service.
“For the past three years, I’ve attended the Florida Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values, hosted by Senator Bill Nelson and his wife, Grace, where student leaders from Florida campuses come together to discuss Jesus of Nazareth as the model servant leader. This forum, with other states’, creates the National Student Leadership Forum. Students from all over the country meet in Washington with Senators and Congressmen from both parties. It disproves what we see in the media; these people are actually good friends. Although we have different opinions, we can still work together for the greater good of all.”