Rachel Roesner

In the fall semester of 2012 I enrolled in a service-learning course at Loyola, and I decided to spend my time giving back to my community through Ten Thousand Ripples. Over the course of this semester the project has become very near and dear to me. My involvement in Ten Thousand Ripples has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had at college. Before I had chosen a volunteering site for the semester I wrote out a few personal goals for what I hoped to accomplished and get out of my volunteering. I can proudly say that I accomplished all of these goals, but also, I received more than I ever expected in return.

One of my personal goals was to become better acquainted with Rogers Park, geographically. This was especially important to me because my knowledge of Roger's Park was limited to my apartment and the Loyola campus. Now, as I near the end of this semester I have a clear mental map of the neighborhood.

My involvement in Ten Thousand Ripples really pushed me outside of my comfort zone to explore the neighborhood, and I am so glad I did! Some of my favorite discoveries this semester have been the beautiful Loyola Dunes, the Pratt beach park and the painted benches, The Common Cup-a cute cafe off the Morse El stop and the hundreds of pieces of public art and stunning murals all over the neighborhood.  

In addition to getting to know the layout of the neighborhood, I have gotten to know several members of the community! This has been especially rewarding. I have noticed that the more people I meet from the neighborhood the more I feel at home.

This "home" feeling has impacted my life in many ways.  I have enjoyed getting to know people outside of the Loyola University network. Surrounding the campus is a busy, diverse neighborhood full of artist, writers, and community-activists. Many of the people I met through Ten Thousand Ripples were so interested and supportive of the project. Knowing that other people are as excited and enthusiastic about promoting peace, art and dialogue in our neighborhood was so rewarding.

Academically, working with a diverse group of people has helped me further develop my interpersonal and communication skills. These are important skills I will need throughout my life, college, medical school and as a physician.

View my ePortfolio at https://w.taskstream.com/ts/roesner/UNIV290Fall2012