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Updated: Mar 17, 2020

Our #MYSERVICESTORY for the week comes from Alana Okuley, a sophomore Psychology major with minors in Spanish and Leadership from Sylvania, OH!

At which service sites / community partners have you served or been a student liaison? I have served at Carroll Reads Tutoring at Marion Sterling Elementary School, Julie Billiart School, and Rainbow Connects at University Hospitals. "Before coming to John Carroll, I don't think that I had an accurate representation of the actual meaning behind service. I have always enjoyed participating in service, but I absolutely love how CSSA makes it possible for service to become a HUGE part of my weekly routine. Yeah sure it's great to say that you participate in weekly "service," but I often ask myself who is actually serving who. Through participating in Rainbow Connects, a program where we meet with patients and help assess their needs in order to partner them with resources in the community that can help fulfill some basic needs that they may be lacking, I feel so fortunate to have met some amazing individuals. As students, it is so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that we sometimes forget to take a deep breath. Through all of the hurt that many of these patients are experiencing, they constantly remind me of all of the good in the world and to never stop seeking it out. One mom that I spoke to the other day told me to "never hide a smile, because you never know who may need it." This quick comment that was just an everyday norm to her, meant so much to me. I think that my new favorite definition of service is best explained by the joy in a simple smile, and that of which comes from interacting with others to learn more about who they truly are."

Each week we feature stories of students who have made service a cornerstone of their JCU experience. Complete the form below to show us how you #ServeCLE!

We’ll share your story on social media and in our weekly e-newsletter. If you’re a CSSA student liaison, you’ll earn points for your mentor group! Submit your service story at


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