During her time at Vanderbilt, Tara has challenged herself through practicing the Rotary principle she learned as president of her high school Interact Club: “Service above Self.” In high school, Tara co-founded the Global Green Partnership, a club that educates the community about responsible environmental practices and implements sustainable solutions. During her freshman year in 2010, she served as the Publicity Chair for Kickoff Cookoff, a student-run philanthropy event that raises tens of thousands of dollars for Fannie Battle Day Home for Children. Tara currently serves as Co-Chair for the 2012 event and looks forward to growing the scope of the event while fostering dynamic community partnerships in the upcoming year. With the guidance and support of the Ingram Scholarship Program, Tara travelled to Kingston, Jamaica during the summer after her first year and implemented an educative arts and crafts program at Marigold Children’s Home. She worked in conjunction with the caregivers doing outreach in the local community, fundraising to purchase new equipment and organizing a community day of service. A year later, Tara returned to Jamaica through designing and leading a service trip with a group of committed students in an effort to spread awareness about the complexity of poverty. Tara and her co-founder, Elin Bunch, will continue to serve in advisory roles for future alternative spring break trips, as it has been adopted by a local organization.
Over the course of her time at Vanderbilt, Tara has engaged in various opportunities related to health and wellness. As a freshman serving on the executive board for Grassroots, Tara co-founded the Vanderbilt Food Rescue Program, a program that picks up surplus healthy food from the dining centers on campus and donates it to the homeless of Nashville through the Campus for Human Development. She also served as Vice President of Events for Active Minds, an organization committed to changing the conversation about mental health on college campuses. She rose to the challenge of shaping a new organization through forging partnerships with the Psychological Care Center and hosting speakers pertaining to common mental health issues. Her summer of 2011 was spent in New York City, working for The M Foundation, a dynamic organization that honors high school and amateur athletes both on and off the field through a college scholarship program. Moreover, in her free time, she works with young girls in the community serving as a Girls on the Run Assistant Coach.
Throughout her junior year, and continuing into her senior year, Tara strives to explore new cultures and service opportunities. Feeding her passion for the Spanish language, Tara spent a semester abroad in Barcelona, Spain studying and working as an English teacher with children from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, she looks forward to realizing her academic internship with Nashville Mobile Market, a social enterprise that brings affordable and healthy groceries to food-deserts throughout Nashville. During her time there, Tara will create a financial literacy and nutritional program for adults as well as design and implement a marketing campaign in order to further brand the enterprise.
Tara is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Ingram Scholarship Program at Vanderbilt and plans to pursue a career working for an international organization committed to social wellness and entrepreneurship.