Patrick's passion for community service began with an "aha" moment as a sophomore at St. Mark's School of Texas during an after-school presentation his philosophy teacher, Dr. Martin Stegemoeller, gave on the importance of service to our communities. He pointed out that we were nothing without our care for and our relationships with others that come from service. Something clicked inside Patrick that day. From that day forward, he finally began to recognize the win-win nature of active community engagement and the opportunities that it provides to care, to learn, and to grow the relationships that make life so rewarding. He finally realized that engagement and service was not a sacrificial giving of oneself but a way to sustainably grow oneself and one's community.
Patrick would go on to become an active participant in his school's community service program culminating in his selection as a co-Chair of "McDonald's Week," a week-long fundraiser that raised over 2000 meals and $12,000 for a local homeless shelter and as a co-Chairman of his school's community service program where he planned and led weekly board meetings and service projects, and fostered relationships with a variety of local not-for-profits.
Reflecting back on an incredible first year at Vanderbilt, Patrick feels grateful to be part of such a strong community of knowledgeable, passionate, and inspirational students. Patrick notes, that through discussions he has had with fellow Ingram Scholars, the weekly meetings, and the relationships developed with various community organizations, the Ingram Scholarship Program has provided him with a rounded yet nuanced insight into countless issues plaguing our society and, most importantly, given him the tools to engage them as an effective global citizen.
During his first year at Vanderbilt, Patrick focused most of his service endeavors towards his work with Fannie Battle Day Home for Children. Volunteering twice a week to assist with after school tutoring for third and fourth graders, Patrick served as a mentor and role model to countless students while developing essential insights into Nashville's public education system. Patrick is also participating as a member of the Kickoff Cookoff Sponsorship Committee. Kickoff Cookoff is one of the largest student-run philanthropy events on campus and raises tens of thousands of dollars every year for an organization near and dear to Patrick's heart: Fannie Battle.
This summer, Patrick served as an Intern for the EastWest Institute based in their Brussels office and traveling to New York, Berlin, Istanbul, Gaziantep, and Moscow. The EastWest Institute (ewi.info) is an international, non-partisan, not-for-profit global think-and-do tank focused on confronting critical challenges that endanger peace. Patrick's main focus was to assist with the planning of the 9th Worldwide Security Conference: Reshaping Economic Security in Southwest Asia and the Middle East that will be held in Brussels in November of 2012, but he also spent time researching, and writing trip reports and meeting summaries on a variety of the institutes initiatives.
In his sophomore year, Patrick is excited to continue his involvement with Fannie Battle and to find other opportunities to serve his community and to encourage others to do the same.