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Service that Builds Leadership Experience

Jessica Ramser is a leader. The junior’s involvement in service has provided leadership opportunities that have shaped her experience at DePaul.

“I started doing service through DePaul’s service immersion program and went on a first-year trip to St. Louis. From there, I was recommended to be a service immersion trip leader. I became a leader the spring of my freshman year,” said Jessica, a political science major.

After her service immersion trip, she joined the DePaul Community Service Association (DCSA) and became the site coordinator for DePals, a program that works with adults and students who have developmental disabilities. 

“We mentor the students we work with, but we also offer friendship. It’s something I look forward to every week. We know about each other family’s lives. We build relationships,” said Jessica. As a coordinator, Jessica also communicates with the site, recruits volunteers, schedules visits and helps plan activities.

But Jessica’s role with DCSA expands beyond the DePals program: She’s also a member of the senior team. With approximately 25 service sites and two coordinators per site, the senior team ensures that resources are appropriately allocated and any issues that arise are quickly handled.
“Between planning events, setting up sites and securing transportation, we’re here to make sure everything runs smoothly throughout the year,” said Jessica, “My leadership skills have developed and strengthened through all of these opportunities.”

But she’s not just gaining leadership experience and skills that will serve her well beyond her time at DePaul, she’s also had the opportunity to explore Chicago and think beyond the boundaries of campus and classroom.

“I’m not just going to school to get a job for myself and make money. I am part of something. We have a great city at our fingertips to learn and be involved. Service has challenged my views and given me a new perspective.”