WSU Alumnus Herman Servatius ’18 discusses the importance of leadership in the surrounding community.
Written by Jess Evora, Assistant Director, OSILD
Photos provided by H. Servatius
Students entering WSU understand that their goal is to make the most out of their college experience by getting involved on campus and performing their best in class. With so many opportunities here on campus, we don’t always look beyond our campus borders to explore the impact we can make in the surrounding community. WSU Alum Herman Servatius ’18 believes that making time to support the surrounding community is a vital part of the Worcester State University experience.
“One of the things I find fascinating about a collegiate space is the population turnover,” Herman said. “Many students will spend around four years to get their degree, which in the grand scheme of things is not a long time to be somewhere. So for example, at a place like WSU students might come here, live in Worcester for four years, and then leave for new pastures to start the next chapter of their lives.”
“In my experience, I’ve seen people come to WSU, earn their degree, and move on without much thought to their surrounding community,” Herman said. “While I don’t think there is anything wrong with that approach, I do believe it’s a huge missed opportunity.”
This was an opportunity that Herman – a native of the city of Worcester – did not want to miss. Therefore, he decided he wanted to give back to the surrounding community in a meaningful way before he graduated from Worcester State.
During his senior year, he served as the Co-Chair of the Student Government Association’s Have a Heart Auction, an annual event that in 2018 raised $25,000 for three local organizations in the city of Worcester: Abby’s House, The Mustard Seed Foundation of Worcester, and Sherry’s House. This is an accomplishment for which Herman and his Co-Chairs, Alex Murphy and Carissa Rodriguez, are very proud.
“Wherever we are in life we have the opportunity to contribute to our surrounding community,” Herman said. “Community is a very broad term. Communities can range from the entire county of Worcester, to a neighborhood, to just the people who live on your street. So, I challenge anyone with a desire to give back and be involved to discover what type of community they feel strongly towards and contribute to it, regardless of whether they are there long-term [Worcester residents] or not.”
Fortunately for Worcester State students, there are countless opportunities to give back to the community in their own way. WSU as an institution is very involved in the community. We have many programs and opportunities that allow our students to get involved as well.
The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development (OSILD) works to support many student organizations that give back to the community, including Enactus and WooServe among many others. The Binienda Center for Civic Engagement is an office specifically dedicated to connecting students with the surrounding community through meaningful experiences during which students can make a real impact.
In addition, our Career Services office is very well connected to local companies doing great work for the surrounding community. These companies welcome Worcester State students to contribute to the local community through internships. Many WSU Alumni stay in the area and work full-time for these very same companies.
Giving back to the community is one of the best ways to develop your leadership skills. Through his own experiences, Herman was able to understand what kind of a leader he wanted to become.
“Your comfort level and leadership style will naturally evolve if you keep active in college,” Herman said. “So try to dig deep and by honest with yourself about what you want. If you focus on those things, then opportunities will arise from them.”
Here in the Office of Student Involvement, we believe all students can become great leaders like Herman. Giving back to the surrounding community is a great way to begin that journey.
What impact would you like to make during your time as a Lancer? You may not have determined your answer to that question quite yet. However, we would be delighted to help you find out. Feel free to stop by the Office of Student Involvement (Student Center, 2nd Floor) to say hello and see how you can get involved. We promise we’re friendly : )
Good luck Lancers! We are excited to see the great work you will do for our community this academic year – both on and off campus.