At 500 South Highland Avenue, once a month a small soup kitchen pulses with life. The local church comes together to give back to their community, and freshman Chloe Evers wouldn’t want to be anywhere else in the world.
“My church goes to the soup kitchen once a month and serves the homeless there,” Evers said. “I’ve been doing it consistently with my family for a few years, since middle school.”
The holiday season is a time for spreading love and cheer. In this final installment of the Giving Titans series, Evers shares just how important it is to keep a broad perspective on our experiences with others, even the small ones.
“Seeing the smile on people’s faces, just being able to serve them, shows them in a different light, and that’s so interesting to me,” Evers said.
Just a freshman, Chloe has thrust herself into Titan life. In addition to being a member of Earth & Surf and the soccer team, she is president of the freshman student council.
“Student Government Association (SGA) has given me a chance to have a behind the scenes look at what makes things that happen at University,” Evers said.
This inside view is one of the many things that has driven her desire “to want to improve the quality those interactions.”
Our teachers are there on both the good days and the bad ones, and often have the privilege to see a unique side of their students.
“Chloe makes her peers, and her teachers, reach further,” resource teacher Angela Hack said. “She is not happy to settle for what comes easily, and that means the real work of learning and teaching gets stretched. I love having her in my class to help expand what we do.”
It can be difficult to continually strive for more, especially in school. At times it seems almost impossible to achieve the bare minimum, much less to go beyond that. However, the rewards for this hard work can be nearly limitless.
“A lot of possibilities open from something as simple as starting a conversation,” Evers said. “You can see life with a fresh perspective by connecting with someone new in a different way.”
Earth and Surf president, senior Brandon Boies agreed, saying that Evers is one of the club’s most upbeat members, and that “it’s a rare gift to be able to always treat the people around you with compassion, but she always does it with a smile.”
“My impression from the first time I talked with Chloe was how kind and friendly she was towards myself and others,” Boies said.
Being involved with those around us can improve interactions in the classroom as well. Oftentimes the student that is continually asking questions is the one that determines the atmosphere of learning, or lack thereof.
“Chloe showed tremendous leadership in our recent article analysis,” Hack said. “She is willing to ask complex questions and takes the risk of putting her thoughts out first. This really sets the standard for the room and elevates our academic discussion.”
But possibly the biggest argument for taking a few steps out of your comfort zone is the impact that you leave on others. Offering encouragement, a smile, or even a pencil could change the course of someone’s day. And ultimately wouldn’t we want someone to do the same for us?
“There might be someone in your class that you haven’t talked to and you’ll never know how they could impact your life until you do,” Evers said.
Check out some of Chloe’s photography below!