Ryan, a third-year student at the University of Dayton, is a servant leader addressing issues surrounding food and education access. As a Dayton Civic Scholar Ryan is committed to civic dialogue around empowering and uplifting communities and neighborhoods. For the last two years, Ryan has worked with Mission of Mary Farms in erecting growing spaces to address the food desert in the Dayton region. As well as creating learning spaces for further community engagement. Through servant leadership, Ryan has met the short term needs of organizations and fostered the seeds of community partnerships in the Dayton Community. Through education, Ryan improves the quality of life for residents of varying neighborhoods with the dignity and respect individuals deserve. Through his involvement in the classroom with native populations and in his role with housing and residence life, Ryan is an active ally and supports underserved students both on campus and in the community. Ryan believes in the University’s commitment to Inclusive Excellence and being an Anti-racist University, and strives to incorporate these principles into his daily life, his civic engagement, and his vocational path.
My community engagement began with addressing issues of inequality in the Dayton region by volunteering at the Mission of Mary Farm (MOMF) first semester of freshman year. I began to understand underlying issues of housing policies that created barriers to access in several services from food to education. Sophomore year, I began to address this disparity in access to higher education by serving as a math tutor to prospective first-generation college students, with the Upward Bound program. Through this role, I learned no student lacks the capacity to learn and when treated with dignity, respect, and patience all students hold the capacity to succeed. In addressing food access issues, I have assisted in the construction of three urban greenhouses for MOMF. I have also made the commitment as the President of Epsilon Tau Pi, the Eagle Scout fraternity on campus, to collaborate on semester-long projects that expand MOMF's capacity to provide fresh healthy food for youth and adults alike and to deepen their understanding of food and the natural world to which we live. Currently, as a junior Dayton Civic Scholar, I am working with my cohort on our capstone community project, which we will develop and implement as seniors.