Zoey Mendoza, a sophomore at the University of Rhode Island, is a student servant leader active in addressing issues regarding affordable housing, individuals experiencing homelessness, urban poverty, and environmental and social justice. Ms. Mendoza cultivates servant leadership within her own actions and through the support of other students on campus. She leads by example in organizing advocacy efforts through her student service organization and engagement programs for the campus, inspiring peers to step outside of their comfort zones to become part of the solution. She collaborates with her peers to lead and inspire those around her with a genuine understanding that dedication to civic responsibility and service can only thrive when it comes from within.
Before attending the University of Rhode Island, I was actively engaged in service opportunities in my community. Since starting college, I have used my privilege to further my passion for civic engagement and leadership. In my first year I joined the URI chapter of Habitat for Humanity and had the opportunity of participating in an alternative spring break trip with URI Service Corps to New Orleans, Louisiana. From these service experiences I was exposed to issues such as the affordable housing crisis, homelessness, and urban poverty. I believe that empathy, education, and advocacy are essential in addressing the root causes of these issues and others. Presently, I am a leader for a URI Service Corps trip, and in this role I work to organize and carry out service learning experiences for my fellow students. I am grateful for the opportunities I have engaged in thus far and I hope to continue to serve and learn to enact social change at the local and systemic level.