The concept of a servant leader embodies the delicate balance of leading a group while at the same time remaining cognizant of the group’s purpose: the service of others. I had the privilege of interviewing Henah Parikh a Director of the Student Volunteer Council. The Student Volunteer Council gives the students of Rutgers University an opportunity to give back to the New Brunswick community. As college students it is our prerogative to help those in need and foster a sense of connectedness with the people who live in our city.
When speaking with Henah it became evident early on that her primary motivation for her efforts was fueled by her empathy for people. Henah told me that her first opportunity to become involved with SVC took place at their “Winter Wishes” event, a SVC event that gives out holiday gifts to children within the community. The gratitude the children expressed at seeing these gifts moved Henah to tears, and a more senior member, took her aside and told her that she was exactly the type of person this organization needed. This kind of behavior not only empowered Henah to further commit to SVC, but built a personal relationship that would solidify her involvement with the organization. Henah explained the importance of serving the community for the right reasons. Service is not about your resume, or any titles that you may earn, but about helping those who are in need and making a positive difference in people’s lives .
Student Volunteer council is excellent at fulfilling their purpose, by hosting a variety of volunteer opportunities for Rutgers students, they not only provide a benefit for society, but also connect our students with their neighbors. All of their branding, planning, and actions reflect their core mission and by continually emphasizing their commitment to service they have engrained in our University’s culture as the premier service organization. This has been successful in part due to their encouragement of outside student organizations to become more involved in volunteerism; the Scarlet Day of Service showcased this excellently.
The Student Volunteer Council and the individual members therein are successful in leading their organization and the Rutgers community at large, due to their clear purpose and a commitment to empowering our university’s students to give back to our community. Our organizations can all benefit from remaining true to their guiding purpose and ensuring that they are doing their very best in supporting and nurturing their membership.
Be sure to get more involved in your community!