Andrew Boyer, a criminal justice major from Douglasville, got involved with service at UGA because he wanted an opportunity to get a better understanding for the needs in his community and develop ways in which he could actively be involved in changing the things that need correcting. He’s always been taught to give to someone in need and knew that he wanted his collegiate experience to be colored by his service experience.
As a Student Scholar, what have you learned about how and why the university engages in service?
As a Student Scholar, I have learned that our university is dedicated and committed to engaging in service, not only throughout the Athens-Clarke county community, but across the state of Georgia. Being able to learn about how the university serves its state-wide and national communities, while also understanding their mission to grow people and protect what they care about, has been incredibly rewarding.
Why do you serve?
I serve because I think there is nothing more valuable than people and their opinions, thoughts and loved ones. I think service is a great opportunity to develop your skills, but with the focus and intention to better someone else’s reality. Service is also a great way to find your passions and use them for the good of so many others.
What service and leadership activities are you involved with at UGA?
In addition to my work as a Student Scholar with the PSO Scholars Program and the J.W. Fanning Institute, I serve as a Discovery Camp Counselor with Dawg Camp, as the Vice President of the Black Affairs Council and as a member of the Golden Key Honor Society. I also volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club. Lastly, I always make sure to do Shop With A Bulldawg each fall semester, because it is always a day filled with fun and the excitement in the kids’ faces is priceless.
How has service-learning helped you grow as a student or in your personal life?
I came into contact with the idea of service-learning through my Juvenile Delinquency class taught by Dr. Ganem and I haven’t been the same since. I am a very kinesthetic learner, so having the opportunity to take the concepts we were learning in class and apply them to real life situations was overwhelmingly exciting. I think from this point forward, I’ve been looking for ways in which the course content and real world intersect. I think I’ve also become more passionate about social justice issues, as these processes have actual effects on real people.
Why do you feel it is important for students to participate in public service and outreach? How does it benefit the community?
If not only to expand your perspectives of the world, I think it extremely important for students to participate in public service and outreach. I am a firm believer that most significant growth happens outside our comfort zones and there is an entire community outside of our UGA bubble that needs our help! I think every student, especially here at the University of Georgia, is exceptionally talented and has something to offer the community, but that potential is useless unless fully realized. I think the people within our community would also benefit greatly from the resources that have been made available to us – it is simply our work to serve them and our community.
What are your plans following graduation?
After graduation, I plan to work for a few years with an organization that allows me an opportunity to become involved with juvenile justice / teaching work and then return for law school and graduate school. I plan to build my professional career in and around juvenile justice and hope to become a judge thereafter.
What are your interests and hobbies outside of school?
Outside of school, I have a very big family, so they inevitably occupy a great deal of my free time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I also enjoy reading, watching Netflix, and riding my bike. Also, recently, my brother & I have been really into watching scary movies and learning new cooking techniques.
Please list any outside-UGA community service activities you are involved in.
I am involved with the Boys & Girls Club in Athens and serve with the children’s ministry of Covington Bible Baptist Church.
What is your favorite spot in Athens, at UGA or in Georgia? Why?
This is very cliché, but I would have to say Herty Field and the Fountain on North Campus. For me, they represent a fresh start and a way to connect with the history of UGA, while also enjoying the company of other students and nature.
What motivates you or inspires you in life?
My grandparents are probably the biggest source of motivation and inspiration on my life. All of them are survivors and fighters, yet they continuously choose joy. I have seen them do some incredible things and perhaps the most amazing thing is that they don’t ever forget to include someone else in their blessings. They always are sure to look out for so many other people and they hold themselves to a higher standard, so that they can be an example for their other people. They are my heart and the reason I am here today.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
“You can do anything you put your mind to & you better!” – Angela Boyer, my mom