Freshman Erica Brierley has established rewarding connections with people on and off campus through her involvement with service through the S.O.U.L.S. Center for Community Engagement.
Brierley is the project leader for the weekly Oasis Monday Night Supper Club; where volunteers serve meals to those in need at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.
She not only enjoy helping to serve clients, but also finds even greater peace in getting to know each one personally.
“Some weeks it is an accomplishment to learn someone's name, and other weeks you hear an entire life story,” says Brierley, who is majoring French and International Affairs. “I am definitely putting my comfort zone at risk by exposing myself to a group of people who are often looked down upon or feared by society.”
She makes it a point to acknowledge each client as “sir” or “ma’am” and give each person the respect he or she deserves.
Brierley’s service-related concerns are focused on the issues of poverty relief and human needs. When she’s having a blue Monday, she finds that the best treatment is the Monday Night Supper Club.
“I look forward to seeing certain people's humor and personalities every week, and, walking home, I have a new appreciation for life and the human soul.”
Erica, who was named a S.O.U.L.S. volunteer of the month earlier this semester, also volunteers in the weekly Prison Book Program and Project No One Leaves, a local coalition of advocates for families facing foreclosure. She traveled to Denver, Colorado, to work on a Habitat for Humanity home-building project through the University’s Alternative Spring Break program.