MSU student dedicated to serving others looks forwards to life of volunteering
Interdisciplinary studies in social science sophomore Jade Greear has met pop stars Paula Abdul and Selena Gomez, collaborated with former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and has even been featured on a cable TV show.
Despite the notoriety of their celebrity status, and other accomplishments, none of those feats come to mind when you ask her about her biggest accomplishments. But what does come to mind is the countless hours of community service Greear has done over her life.
“I think being active in a community opens your eyes to a lot,” Greear said. “We all have unique experiences, we all come from different places, but when you work with other people and you’re able to see where they come from, or the type of person they’ve grown to be, it’s really cool.”
“I’m always the person that wants to add more and more and more.”
Greear, a native of Homewood, Ill. — a suburb of Chicago, has been volunteering for community service since she was in first grade. It started when she helped plant a garden at her elementary school with her mother. Then volunteer work at soup kitchens, tutoring, until she got involved with the WE Movement and Allstate Foundation when she was in high school.
“It’s interesting now that we’ve known her for several years to see, I think she started out just speaking up about injustices that she saw in her community, and working with her peers and friends to make change,” Laura Freveletti, the Senior Program Manager for the Allstate Foundation said. “And that has progressed her into being a voice for those who are at risk, or underserved, or an injustice against them.”
Greear’s favorite volunteer trip so far? Her work with the Allstate Foundation transformed into a three week trip community health trip she and the WE Movement took Kenya. Her and the organization traveled to Maasai Mara, a rural town outside the nation’s capital of Nairobi, and worked to improve hospitals and schools throughout the area.
“It can take hours to to walk to a hospital, so having those mobily community health clinics impacts their lives tremendously,” she said. “I think one day we gave de-worming tablets and vitamin A to about 600 school children.”
In East Lansing, Greear is an intern at the Institute for International Health, and hopes to travel with them to Nepal in May. She also volunteers for Forget About Me, I Love You, or F.A.M.I.L.Y., where she mentors at local Boys and Girls Clubs and teaches financial literacy techniques to young adults.
“We’ve really seen her passion for making right things that are wrong, and her ability to articulate that and lead people to a discussion and to hear that other point of view,” Freveletti said.
On Nov. 12, F.A.M.I.L.Y. is hosting a community baby shower that will provide supplies to families expecting a new child and in disadvantaged situations. An event that Greear says she’s looked forward to since last year.
“It’s a lot, but it is something I really am passionate about,” Greear said. “And it’s important I get the time in, but I’m also very aware so I can get my degree so I can go out and help more people in my future career.”
But all of that isn’t enough. In addition to the 16 credits she’s taking this semester, and intentions to enroll in graduate school, Greear would like to see an MSU open a chapter of the WE Movement before she graduates.
“We is mainly interested in more high schools and elementary schools in the U.S.,” she said,” It’s still spreading. In Canada, you’ll see all the universities have a WE Organization club. But since it’s not familiar in the U.S. yet, I don’t know if it’s on any college campuses yet.”