Rachel Curtis ’24 finds purpose as a service ambassador

Curtis finds purpose through student leadership and involvement in the Kernodle Center for Civic Life.

Through the Providing Aid Through Campus Employment (PACE) Program, Elon students are given access to part-time jobs in campus departments or programs and are guaranteed a campus job with earnings of up to $3,000 per academic year.

Rachel Curtis ’24 became a service ambassador at the Kernodle Center for Civic Life through PACE, and has come to an understanding that, “It’s important to give back and develop an understanding of the world around us so that we can all be better.”

As a College Fellow, Curtis conducted research on Afghan refugee resettlement, which has opened her eyes to the lack of resources available to them. She is passionate about increasing the perceived self-sufficiency for refugees, and her human services minor has assisted in that endeavor. Curtis encourages students to engage with the community during their time at Elon, which is exactly what the Kernodle Center promotes through Alternative Breaks.

Curtis packaged fruit and canned food for community members, courtesy of Martha's Table
Curtis packaged fruit and canned food for community members, courtesy of Martha’s Table.

In the spring of 2022, Curtis led a “Hunger and Homelessness” service experience to Washington D.C. Students partnered with agencies Martha’s Table and Bread for the City to prepare food for families in need. She states that Alternative Breaks are a great way to dig into social issues, enhance personal growth, work alongside the community and pop the “Elon bubble.” The breaks, which occur during Elon’s fall and spring breaks, provide students an immersive experience and allow them to connect with communities they wouldn’t typically connect with. This year, the Kernodle Center piloted a one-day experience to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum to learn about the role that Greensboro played in the Civil Rights Movement. The group then served at the Morrowtown Community Garden in Burlington.

Curtis '24 at the African American History Museum during her Alternative Break
Curtis at the African American History Museum during her Alternative Break.

As a service ambassador, Curtis promotes collegiate involvement in sustainable service, equitable communities and social justice.

“My role as a service ambassador has helped me find my purpose at Elon, and now I know what I’d like to do after graduation.” That purpose is promoting equity and implementing social justice initiatives where she can.

She came to Elon at the height of the pandemic, and the Kernodle Center provided her connection and acceptance. This connection was enhanced by the mentorship of Kernodle Center’s Program Assistant Nicole Bergen, who has empowered her during her time at Elon.

In addition to her involvement as service ambassador, Alternative Break leader, and College Fellow, Curtis is an Alpha Xi Delta sorority member. She encourages Elon students to get involved and apply for future Alternative Breaks. Students can learn more about participation in or leadership for Alternative Breaks on PhoenixConnect or by visiting Moseley Center 232.