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Ripples of Change: One Alum’s Royal Impact on The Streets of Nashville 

Feb 21, 2024 By Queens University Communications

Like many students, native Charlottean Meredith MacLeod Jaulin ‘11 felt lost in the shuffle of big lecture halls when she first embarked on her undergraduate experience. After completing her first semester at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, she decided to change gears and get an associate degree at Central Piedmont Community College. When it came time to pursue her undergraduate degree, she yearned for an academic environment where she would feel seen and known.

“I wanted a campus that would hold me accountable and push me to do my absolute best,” said Jaulin. “That’s when I found Queens. I enjoyed how small the classes were and the constant access I had to my professors. Almost 13 years later, I can still reach out to the faculty members who were so influential during my time on campus.”

The Nashville Alumni Chapter President has accomplished big things since graduating from Queens in 2011. Now the executive director of a nonprofit called Shower the People, she traces her passion for serving others and finds its origin in an internship she held during her time on campus.

During a presentation in one of her psychology classes, Jaulin heard from The Relatives, a youth crisis and resource center that is minutes down the road from campus. She got permission shortly after to complete an informal internship with The Relatives. It was during this experience that the Queens motto “Not to be served, but to serve” began to resonate with Jaulin at a deeper level.

“The most formative moment of my college experience happened during the first week of my internship when a homeless family dropped their children off to the center. It was one of the girls’ birthdays. Obviously, I decided to make the girl a birthday cake — that’s what you do after all,” she explained. “When she came home from school, I had it sitting on the table. She started crying and looked at me and said, ‘This is the first time I’ve ever had a birthday cake.’ She was about nine or ten years old. In that moment, I realized how much privilege I’ve had in my life and that a small, seemingly insignificant gesture of care can have such a profound impact on others.”

That concept of serving others, especially in the mundane aspects of life, has stuck with Jaulin throughout these past 13 years and has indelibly shaped her personal and professional pursuits — ultimately inspiring her to co-found Shower the People, a Nashville-based nonprofit. After seeing a Facebook video about a San Francisco-based company that offered mobile showers, Jaulin was determined to bring a similar offering to individuals experiencing homelessness in her city.

“Hygiene health is a really big obstacle for people experiencing homelessness, yet a shower is a really simplistic resource to provide,” explained Jaulin. “When I learned about a group of guys in Nashville who had recently purchased a bus with the idea of turning it into a mobile showering service, I knew I had to get involved.”

After making the initial connection, she reached out and expressed interest in getting involved. Soon after, Shower the People, a nonprofit centered around providing mobile laundry and shower services to people in Nashville experiencing homelessness, was officially born in 2017.

“For most of my life, I viewed education as a means to an end,” Jaulin explained. “When I got to Queens, I quickly learned that education is an unmatched resource that equips you to accomplish whatever you set your mind to in life. With the encouragement of faculty and mentors on campus, I began to take ownership over my own educational journey.”

Jaulin’s perspective on education was so impacted by her time at Queens that since graduating, she has earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Outside of her day-to-day duties as the executive director of Shower the People, Jaulin enjoys taking her family to root for the Royals when they are competing against other DI schools in Tennessee. To learn more about her organization and get involved, visit the Shower the People website.