"I want to be a teacher so I can make an impact on future generations, and hopefully help students find their place in this sometimes overwhelming world."
A love for teaching combined with a commitment to community service is the best way to describe the contributions of FSU student Katelyn Moloney to the Florida State University community.
When Moloney first arrived on campus, she initially wanted to pursue a degree in medicine because the idea of providing care for someone interested her. However, she ultimately realized that teaching is her greatest passion.
"I think teachers have a unique, tremendous and incredible opportunity to create social change from a grassroots level, and I think that they can help students figure out what it is that makes their lives meaningful," Moloney said. "I want to be a teacher so I can make an impact on future generations and hopefully help students find their place in this sometimes overwhelming world.
Once Moloney decided she wanted to pursue a career in education, she made the decision to further her experience by volunteering to tutor, teach and mentor other students on campus. She began this journey through the FSU Center for Leadership and Social Change, an organization committed to transforming student lives through leadership, education, identity development and community engagement.
"Teaching and mentoring on FSU's campus has been informative and fun," Moloney said. "I've had the opportunity to work with students of all ages — from four to 14 — and I've been inspired by every student that I work with."
Moloney wanted to find a way to provide more care and service, so she decided to get involved with more organizations in the community. Having always had in interest in medicine, she reached out to AmeriCorps and became a volunteer with the Alzheimer's Project of Tallahassee.
"I've been with AmeriCorps for almost two years, and it's been a fantastic time," she said. "The people I have met through this organization are the most honest, kind and loveliest people you will ever hope to meet."
Fabiola Jean-Charles, the AmeriCorps Program Manager, describes Moloney as an exceptional asset to the program.
"Katelyn is one of the most kind, patient and selfless young women I know," Jean-Charles said. "She has made a huge difference not only in the client's life, but also in our volunteer program."
As a volunteer, Moloney spends her service hours providing care for clients who have been diagnosed with dementia. She helps them accomplish everyday tasks that they would not be able to complete alone due to the crippling affects of the disease.
Through her experiences working with Alzheimer's patients Moloney realized just how important it the program is.
"The care system for the elderly is ripe for changes," Moloney said. "People taking care of family members with Alzheimer's Disease are often left choosing between the family's financial stability or the health of their loved one. I take care of a sweet lady with dementia so her husband has time to take care of responsibilities other than his wife. This program allows her to spend her last years surrounded by family instead of a nursing home."
Moloney believes community service is a significant and rewarding experience that everyone should participate in.
"I believe that social change does not always have to be due to an organization, one person can do a lot with just words and kindness," she said. "When I talk about volunteering to peers, I am always simultaneously taken aback and genuinely warmed when I find that people listen and are interested."Moloney's ultimate goal is to become a middle school English teacher where she can influence future generations and help them to see the rewarding benefits of community service.
By Victoria Sagebiel, University Communications Intern
Student Star Profiles are produced by the offices of Information Technology Services, the Provost, Student Affairs, Undergraduate Studies and University Communications.