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Community Outreach and Leadership Development Blog

Student Spotlight: Jessica Knowles

By Hannah Bunch on November 2, 2016

Jessica Knowles is a sophomore at Drury majoring in Accounting. She is highly involved not only in organizations on campus, but holds leadership roles within those organizations as well. Jessica is the Vice President of Finance of Kappa Delta Sorority, Vice President of Finance of the Student Government Association and the Secretary for Catholic Campus Ministries here at Drury University. Through her involvement in these roles at Drury, Jessica states she has “learned how to work in groups, delegate tasks, and most importantly, give back to the community.” Outside of Drury, Jessica is interning at The Larson Group Peterbilt and is a volunteer with the Girl Scouts.

Giving back to the community is not only a huge passion for Jessica but it has also helped shape her into the leader she is today. Jessica states that the opportunities at Drury have helped “broaden my view of the Springfield community” and “as a young leader, I believe it is important to be informed on community issues and actively participate in volunteer efforts to combat those issues.”

What is the most rewarding experience you have had while attending Drury?

“Thus far, the most rewarding experience I have had while attending Drury occurred when I was volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House last semester.  A group of Drury students went to Mercy Hospital and cooked a meal for the families staying at the house and seeing the excitement on their faces and the gratitude for a hot, home cooked meal was humbling. Families with sick children have a lot on their mind, and I did not realize how much stress is relieved when they do not have to worry about preparing a meal every night. It was my first time volunteering with the Ronald McDonald House, and I am excited to go back for another meal.”  

Why do you feel it is important to lead and serve within our community?

“Drury itself is a small community and we are actively involved with the Midtown neighborhood that surrounds campus.  Making connections with the residents of this neighborhood and growing in community with them is a unique opportunity that Drury offers, but it is important to development as a leader and an individual. Opportunities like this make Drury unique and allow students with hands-on experiences that make a visible impact locally.  Giving back through volunteer work helps students feel more connected to the community and helps them grow as leaders.”

What advice/encouragement can you give to Drury students to become more engaged in their community and Drury through service and leadership?

“When I came to campus last fall, I knew I wanted to get involved both with campus organizations and volunteer work in the community. Drury has so many opportunities it is easy to get involved, so my advice is not only to take advantage of those given opportunities, but to find something you are passionate about and pursue that cause with all your heart.”

From Community Outreach and Leadership Development we want to thank Jessica for her leadership and service to our community. Jessica is someone who goes above and beyond. Jessica, thank you for your dedication! Keep up the amazing work!

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