I returned back to Wake Forest early to participate in another Pro Humanitate Institute program, not Wake the Vote this time, but SPARC. SPARC is how I began my first year at Wake and it is how I began my last year. Coming full circle and reflecting on how much has changed for me was a great introspective way to approach a new semester here at Wake. I started here as a confused freshman who felt really frustrated about the many important issues that I now get to work on. I was intrigued by the discussions I heard on campus and wanted to get involved with these students who seemed to know so much more than me about the many areas where we could do better. In 2013 SPARC was an opportunity for me to learn about how I could be part of changing our community, not just on campus but out in Winston-Salem. I so enjoyed getting to be that guide for our new first years as they arrived on campus full of new ideas and bringing a diverse variety of new ideas and perspectives.

SPARC is a pre-orientation program for Wake Forest incoming first years or, as we call them, Sparcies. They arrive to campus a week early and learn about our Winston-Salem community. They are led by upperclassmen leaders and get out of the Wake Forest bubble by visiting various service placements and exploring the city. They make connections with each other and with other students on campus who are typically very involved in a variety of programs and extracurricular activities. From Campus Kitchen to Greek Life to Branches all of our SPARC leaders brought a lot to the table.

At the end of the day our WTV mission and the mission of SPARC is to spread social justice wherever we go. This is the end goal of the Pro Humanitate Institute. As we travel the country and debate policy it is sometimes easy to forget this mission or at least not place it in the forefront of our minds every moment. However, that is the work we are doing. Whether I am at El Buen Pastor pulling weeds during SPARC or engaging my fellow students in a conversation about gun control for WTV I am spreading our mission of Pro Humanitate and Social Justice. From Voto Latino to the halls of Congress I was part of this mission this summer and will continue this fall as I help plan programming on campus to expose students to new perspectives and ideas. I am so appreciative of all I have learned and experienced since my own days as a Sparcie and I owe a lot to the Pro Humanitate Institute.

-Sophia Rossell

 

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