Charles, who transferred to Abington, has been extremely active in the campus community, giving back where and when she can. She worked in Alumni Relations and Development as a student development specialist, served as an Orientation Leader, and is the current treasurer of the Student Philanthropy Council.
But it was alternative spring break in South Dakota that had the most dramatic impact.
"I spent a week working with the Lakota Native American tribe to rehabilitate their community center. It brought amazing perspective to so many things in my life and is one of the driving forces in my choice to apply for the Truman Scholarship,” she said.
Charles connected with Wendy Horwitz, assistant teaching professor of English, on the trip to South Dakota.
“Since meeting her, I've been inspired and pushed to do more than I ever thought I could. She encouraged me to apply for the Truman Scholarship and submit poems for publication,” Charles said.
She also cites a staff member in Alumni Relations and Development as inspiration.
“Susannah Hunter hired me to work in the Alumni Relations office and taught me why philanthropy is so important. She introduced me to the Student Philanthropy Council where I met many students like myself and where I learned that helping people was my passion,” she said.
Charles is a World Campus student this semester and living in Knoxville, Tennessee.
“I just recently moved to learn more about the local government and graduate school options here. Tennessee is in a region with high poverty and high rates of people with a disability,” she said. “The surrounding states, mostly Kentucky, are working to defund disability programs, so both of those populations are increasing and my field is opening up.”
About Penn State Abington
Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible, and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st century public higher education within a world-class research university. With nearly 4,000 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 19 majors, undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more.