By Janell Smith
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
This famous quote from Mahatma Ghandi is one that the APPLES Service-Learning program cherishes. It’s quoted often, it’s read aloud during moments of reflection, and it’s even been printed on APPLES T-shirts.
For some students, like UNC alumna Corinne Goudreault ’15, it has become a quote to live by.
Goudreault, who was involved in a number of organizations including Relay For Life, Impact NC, the Community Empowerment Fund, Phi Beta Kappa, the Campus Y and HOPE, said that her commitment to public service during her time at UNC made a huge difference in her college experience.
“During my four years at Carolina, I was involved in the APPLES Service-Learning and Buckley Public Service Scholars (BPSS) programs through the Carolina Center for Public Service (CCPS),” she said.
“In fact, as a first-year student, I participated in the APPLES Service-Learning Initiative (SLI) before classes even started.”
Participating in SLI before the start of her first-year not only exposed Goudreault to APPLES, BPSS and CCPS, but it completely transformed her Carolina experience.
“Through these programs I was able to track the service I did, interact with other students who were passionate about service, and learn traditional classroom material in experiential and service-oriented ways.”
Goudreault took the Center’s philanthropy course, received a paid APPLES service-learning internship with Farmer Foodshare, co-chaired the Campus Y’s Homeless Outreach Poverty Eradication (HOPE) committee and volunteered with the Community Empowerment Fund.
Goudreault said that it was this exposure to public service and engagement that led her to pursue a career in philanthropy which ultimately led her to her first job with the Weissberg Foundation, a philanthropic, family foundation in Washington, D.C.
“I believe the concrete and hands-on knowledge I gained from a philanthropic service-learning course I took through the BPSS program landed me this position. I never really understood that I could actually work in philanthropy before I took the course, but the Center continually made unimaginable opportunities a reality for me.”
During her time at UNC, Goudreault immersed herself in the University’s spirit of public service and allowed that spirit of service to help determine her future after Carolina.
But it did more than that. It also instilled in Goudreault the desire to ensure that future Tar Heels who are passionate about service have the same opportunities to participate in unique, real-life experiences in public service through courses, fellowships, internships and so much more.
“I symbolically invested $20.15 to the Center and plan to continue to invest in its programs,” she said.
“The opportunities I gained from the Carolina Center for Public Service have made me a socially-engaged citizen which will define me for the rest of my life. It’s what made my decision to donate such an easy one, and why I hope others will help to sustain these incredible programs for many years to come.
“Connecting academic learning and public service enhances the educational experience, helping students to positively impact the community. I will be forever grateful to the Center for connecting me and my community, and of course, for helping me get an awesome job!”