Amy Baumann exhausted her final year of eligibility this past fall as a member of Vanderbilt’s soccer team. A native of Highlands Ranch, Colo., Baumann is so entrenched in the community that she was named to the SEC Soccer Community Service Team.
What type of community service work are you involved with?
I enjoy working in the low-income areas of East Nashville with teens, young children and parents, the homeless or people trying to improve their current situation. At the moment, I volunteer for the Salvation Army GED program in East Nashville on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I am a tutor, and I mainly help students with math and some verbal skills.
Why is it important for you to do community service?
Doing community service has helped me gain perspective on poverty, homelessness, etc., that I would surely not have gained otherwise. It has shown me above all that I really have a small, slightly skewed and naive perspective on what is actually happening in the world. Most importantly, I have been blessed to see the other side of being “less fortunate.” Many of the people and families that I work with have such incredible faith despite their seemingly unfavorable circumstances. I volunteer to help others reach the goals and improvements they have chosen to make in their own lives, but they give me more than I could ever give them.
How good of a feeling is it when you are doing community service?
There is nothing like it. Being told that you are a blessing in someone else’s life is the greatest compliment that anyone could receive (Yes, even better than “All-SEC”).
How much does community service make you realize how fortunate you are?
It is a great reminder of how fortunate I am; I have been blessed beyond measure. But as I said earlier, the people I have worked with have shown me a lot of ways where they are more fortunate than I am. Wealth, a big house, a Vanderbilt education means very little in comparison to the faith and hope that many of them obtain despite their being “less fortunate” than many of us. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from them. I highly recommend doing some type of community service. Whatever cause you choose to serve will probably influence you more than you could imagine.