Finding Time for the Classroom and the Community

February 26, 2018

The feelings of connection and accomplishment we gain from volunteering are reward enough for most of us, but when we have the kind of standout moment Sophie Anton ('18) did during her time with Gonzaga University Specialized Recreation (GUSR), those feelings of beneficence multiply exponentially. 

Even with a rigorous schedule as an RA double majoring in Biology and Psychology, Sophie finds time to take part in GUSR, starting as a sophomore with the encouragement of an RA friend. In her first year volunteering, she and her partner Daniel participated in the all-abilities Run for Respect race. While Daniel and Sophie were the last group to cross the finish, other runners stayed to cheer them on, and as they neared the end of the course, Daniel’s father helped his son out of his wheelchair and across the finish line—leaving Sophie with one of the most impactful moments of her time with GUSR.

After volunteering once a week with the program for her first two years, as a senior Sophie opted to take on more of a leadership role with the group. She now runs sports practices and makes sure the participants and volunteers can take part in the special Olympics tournament.

Sophie reflects on her time saying, “GUSR has been the single most important part of my college career. Through this program, I have felt accepted and loved by every member of the community. During programming, my most genuine self is present because of the friendships I have been able to foster for three years.”

It isn’t easy to be a double major and an RA and still have time to give back to your community. Sophie is a prime example of a GU student putting in time both in the classroom and for others around her.

 by Dalton Burnett ('18)