Ginny Davis ’07
Baton Rouge, LA
One of my first experiences at Rhodes was serving at Souper Contact, the student-run soup kitchen that is part of the Kinney Program. I think I went there even before classes began. After we finished serving the clients, I went out for Thai food with a group of upper-class students and they gave me great advice about how community service reinforces classroom experiences.
One of my great opportunities was working as the Rhodes Student Associate assigned to the Kinney program. That got me involved in organizing, promoting and raising funds for Tex-Mex (the alternative spring break program), the Gandhi conference and Rites to Play. On my own, I got involved in V-Day activities aimed at ending violence toward women.
In fact, I was lucky enough to work in the international V-Day headquarters in New York the summer after my sophomore year. While I was there, I got the idea of organizing a service trip to New York because we had more students who wanted mission experience than we could accommodate through Tex-Mex. I called Billy Newton, who was the chaplain at Rhodes then, and he called on his contacts at the Presbyterian Service Office at the United Nations. I am happy to say that there have now been two successful service trips to New York.
As an international studies major and business minor, I had many occasions to reflect on how community service meshes with the basic principles of capitalism I studied in economics classes, and the New York experience was a perfect bridge. It was a great example of community service informing knowledge gained in the classroom and vice versa.
Maybelline Corporation apparently found my combination of academic study and community activism attractive, and I have now begun to work in its sales management exploration program. I hope it won′t be long before I can give back to Rhodes because I want to make sure future students have access to Kinney and the Rhodes Student Associates program.