Everyday for the past five years, Rachel has carried with her a domino. It is a small, tangible reminder that she is a part of life’s domino effect—which involves being impacted and then making an impact on someone else.
Service is a thread that has woven itself into Rachel’s life ever since she was a little girl, but it was not until her freshman year of high school when she made the decision to pursue a life-long career of service. After being impacted by the generosity and selfless acts of others, Rachel realized the everlasting, life-changing effects that only service can dispense.
In her hometown of West Chester, Ohio, she is surrounded by many communities who graciously respond to and serve the needs of others. A believer in the power of sharing a story, Rachel became a founding member of the Butler County “Center for Family Solutions.” The Center is a facility that provides counseling services and legislative advocacy for victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. She outfitted rooms for craft therapy, mentored other teen victims, and raised community awareness about the effects of abuse.
Rachel then took her efforts and passion to the state level. Working alongside a state representative, she spoke before the Ohio House of Representatives Criminal Justice Committee to amend an existing law that better protects at-risk adolescents from sexual predators.
Nothing will stop her determination to make a difference in her community, state, country and world. During high school, Rachel became actively involved in the West Chester/Liberty Township Community Foundation’s youth advisory board, “Youth in Philanthropy” (YIP). This organization is comprised of thirty high school students who learn about and promote philanthropy to further community development and to assist local families or persons in need. In the fall, Rachel was a key leader in YIP’s “Operation Gratitude” collection for the troops. Rachel and her YIP teammates gathered hundreds of letters, food items, hygiene products, games, electronics and monetary donations which were sent to soldiers serving overseas. As a member of the YIP board, she reviewed and awarded grants to local non-profits that foster and encourage teen involvement, educate youth about healthy decision making, and support underprivileged families.
Rachel is also the youngest member to serve on a Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA) steering committee. This group of leaders, thinkers and doers is at the forefront of establishing a BGCA facility that serves students in the West Chester area.
She is extremely grateful and honored to join Vanderbilt University and the Ingram Scholarship Program. With great excitement, Rachel looks forward to spending these next four years surrounded by people who share a similar attitude of selflessness, mind of creativity, and love of service. Like the domino effect, her hope is to one day look back on her life and see a beautiful array of dominoes illustrating those she has impacted and those who, in turn, have impacted others.