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Name: Alyssa Lew 

Pronouns: She/Her 

School: UC San Diego 

Division: Paradise Division 

Current Leadership Role: UC San Diego CKI Service Chair 

Favorite Tenet of Circle K: Service 

Volunteering and doing community service has always been ingrained in me as something I should do. No concrete reason was given when I was younger, but I willfully sorted presents for Toys for Tots when I was a Brownie in Girl Scouts or collected canned goods for my high school’s food drive. It wasn’t until I joined Circle K that I understood the impact and importance of service.

My freshman year of college, my mentor encouraged me to attend Reality Changers, a volunteer event that one tutors middle and high school students who are on their way to becoming first generation college students. At first, I was hesitant and shy around the students; they were only a few years younger than me. What did have to offer them? It was easy enough to fall into the routine of explaining geometry or correcting the conjugation of avoir, but these tasks aren’t what made me dedicate the last 3 years of my life to service. One night, one of my students ranted about a longstanding friendship that had recently turned toxic. She was deciding whether or not to take a step back from a friend that once stood by her through her toughest times, but now was the root of her tribulation. As she shared her story, I shared a similar one of a friend I had outgrew and the advice others had given me. She opened up to me more about her motivations, worries, and dreams. I felt so much more connected to her, and, as a result, I felt more connected to the greater San Diego community and myself. I realized service is about building bridges and gaining empathy. Through service, you can impact the life of someone you would have never crossed paths with.

As time goes on, even as I leave the Circle K family, I will continue to Live to Serve and Love to Serve. Through the many service opportunities Circle K has offered me, I have morphed in a more compassionate and active participant in my community.

Alyssa Lew is a biology student at UC San Diego and her favorite food is sushi. She once went backpacking for two weeks and got eighty-four bug bites. Yikes!