Every student at Queens is touched by service learning in some way. But for Ronnie Compton Jr., service is more than a course requirement. It's a calling.
Although he came to Queens intending to study business or communications, he found he was better suited to helping others. As a freshman Ronnie volunteered as a Big Brother to a student from nearby Sedgefield Elementary. "It changed my life," Ronnie said. For one thing, he became a Human Service Studies major.
He's now a junior and in his second year as a brotherly buddy to yet another student at Sedgefield. He regularly takes his little brother out to play or shop and has also contributed shoes and school supplies while fostering a relationship the boy's grandmother as well. "I want him to have a good childhood and to have what other kids have," Ronnie said.
Following His Heart
Pat Taft, coordinator of Queens' Center for Active Citizenship, said Ronnie's dedication stands out. "He goes above and beyond in all ways."
It's been an amazing learning experience for Ronnie. From the hard work of those he's encountered he's learned it's not about money or recognition. "It's all about making sure you are making a difference in someone's life... and making sure your heart is involved in whatever you do."
Ronnie plans to become a social worker and one day open a group home offering activities and summer opportunities to underprivileged children. While he puts a lot of his focus into his volunteer work at Sedgefield, he also serves as the chair of L.E.A.D. a peer mentor group providing transition support for first-generation college students and minority students in their first year at Queens.
"Queens has offered me the opportunity to meet great people, many of whom I know I'll be friends with forever!"
- Ronnie Compton Jr.
Ronnie lives out Queens' motto -"Non ministrari, sed ministrare" or "Not to be served, but to serve" - every day, said Zach Thomas, director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. "He goes beyond what is required. Ronnie is passionate and sincere about his service. He is one of the most humble students I have ever had the pleasure of working with."
Ronnie also involves himself with spiritual life at Queens. "I try my best to reach all people," he said. And by reaching people, he doesn't mean telling them what to do. Through his service and course learning he's learned that "helping someone is standing beside them and being there for encouragement."