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Community Mentor Reflection: Winsome Toroitich '17

Hometown: Eldoret, Kenya

Major: Statistics and Economics

Class Year: 2017

Interests: Traveling and Hiking

I grew up in a culture that emphasizes a sense of community and praises coexistence among nuclear and extended family. I have always enjoyed engagements that possess an essence of community. In high school I was the treasurer of the Wealth Committee, which was tasked with raising money during school events to fund tuition for students from unprivileged backgrounds. I am passionate about pooling together resources to ensure the success or betterment of the lives of those around me. My interest in improving lifestyle standards coupled with the giving spirit that SLU has imparted upon me influenced me to apply for a Community Mentor (CM) position with the Community Based Learning (CBL) office.

I am the CM for the Campus Kitchen Project (CKP) at St. Lawrence University. CKP-SLU is a charter of the national CKP that aims at motivating student leaders in various universities to provide food for the hungry in the community in a sustainable way. Through the support of partners such as Walmart, AARP foundation, and others, CKP has recovered approximately 6.7million pounds of food nationally since 2001. Some of my best moments have been when students are able to incorporate their placement experiences with what they are learning in class. I am always inspired by the innovative solutions that students come up with to help make Campus Kitchens run more efficiently. You see, Campus Kitchens is not only a place where students prepare and serve food, but also a place to connect with the community and share our Laurentian spirit with others.

As a CM, I have amassed exceptional skills that I believe make me a good leader under any circumstances. I highly advise anyone considering a leadership position on campus to look into joining the CM Program.  The position enables you to hone your problem solving and interpersonal skills. You will work with other experienced CMs and supervisors who offer academic and professional support, as well as constructive criticism that prepares you for the job. For the new CMs, you are in for a treat. And by treat, I mean life changing encounters. Other CMs are your anchors. Participate, question, open your mind, think, and be ready to lead!