Spring 2014 Outstanding Volunteer: Rachael Bouwma

dsc6718-x2Name: Rachael Bouwma
Year: Sophomore
Major: Social Work
Involvement: Crafter’s Anonymous, Honors Peer Mentoring Program, Rugby, Employee at Subway and PPS Compliance, Volunteer at Crash’s Landing Cat Shelter, Nursing Home Visitor, Craft Sales
Achievements: Michigan Competitive Scholarship, Ferris State Dean’s Scholarship, Honors Program Outstanding Volunteer Award

From Dr. Peter Bradley, Honors Program Director:

“Woodbridge N. Ferris said, “Schools must deal with fundamentals; must build a foundation and furnish a plan for a possible human structure of beauty, strength, and service.” All of our Honors requirements—scholarship, culture, leadership, and service—are designed to realize this Ferris’ vision: to allow our students to develop a plan for their lives and careers that will incorporate beauty, strength, and service. Thus, our service requirement exists to ensure not only that we give back to the communities of Big Rapids and Mecosta County that have made our successes possible, but also because community service forms an essential part of any well-rounded individual’s education. Rachel Bouwma exemplifies this well-roundedness, integrating service into her educational plan.

Rachel Bouwma has volunteered at Crash’s Landing, a no-kill cat and animal shelter in Grand Rapids for two years, and going back to volunteer over the summer when she can. She works regularly with Crafter’s Anonymous and frequently volunteers at nursing homes and hospice centers. In addition to all of this, she finds the time to serve as a peer mentor for the Honors Program, assisting incoming first year students with their transitions to the college life. She recently changed her major to Social Work because, in the words of her nominator, “She wants to dedicate her life to helping others.”

As her nominator described, Rachel plans to dedicate her life to helping others. Post-graduation, she plans to be an elementary school social worker. “I have always gotten along very well with kids, and really want to make that my profession,” she commented. “I want to help children have better lives and be there for them when they need someone to talk to.” Her reasoning and motivation for her community service efforts and consistent volunteering reflect her actions. “I have always liked to volunteer,” Rachel explained. “It has always been a big part of my life, even back in high school. I like to give back to the community and help those who are less fortunate than I am.”

Even though her countless hours of volunteering have been felt through various organizations, Rachel didn’t expect to be nominated as Honors’ Outstanding Volunteer. Crash’s Landing has been her most consistent recipient of her service. “I really liked working with Crash’s Landing,” she commented. “You could be having the worst day, and those cats are the most amazing thing in the world to go to after that day. I liked them so much, I brought a cat home and adopted her!”

The Honors Program congratulates and thanks Rachel for demonstrating what the Ferris State Honors Program is all about to a variety of organizations. Good luck to you with all your future “endeavors!”

This article was written by Endeavor editor Logan Bixman.

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