Will Merritt '15
"Mission has always been important to me," says Merritt.
Randolph-Macon College has a long tradition of service to others. With programs
such as SERVE (Students
Engaged in Responsible Volunteer Experiences) and
Service Fellows, students have the opportunity to reach out to others through
Recently, Will Merritt ’15, director of community outreach for
R-MC’s Service Fellows,
experienced firsthand the joy of giving back. The Service Fellows program is a multi-year
experience that integrates service opportunities with instruction, reflection, and
exploration of the contexts and root causes of social needs.
Merritt, a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia, traveled to Sibal, Ocosingo, Mexico
on a mission trip with First Presbyterian Church of Virginia Beach. He and 15 of
his fellow congregation members helped pour concrete floors at the Templo Berea
Church complex and led Bible studies for children living in the village.
“I was struck by the austerity of the Sibal village,” says Merritt, a
communication studies major and Spanish
minor. “They did not have concrete trucks, so we had to ride on a cattle truck to
the nearest rock quarry with pickaxes and shovels. There, we loaded up the truck
and then returned to the village.” Merritt and his fellow volunteers then transferred
the construction materials to wheelbarrows, where it was mixed into concrete.
“You can imagine why it took six days to complete two concrete floors,” says Merritt
as he reflects on the trip. “The process was complicated, but the Sibal people were
grateful for our help. Mission has always been important to me and this trip was
a great experience with lasting memories.”
Jayme Watkins, the advisor for the Service Fellows, is thrilled that Merritt’s work
will help improve the lives of others.
“This is a great example of the work that our Service Fellows are doing,” says Watkins.
“Will exemplifies this commitment to service every day. This dedication comes from
a place of care and compassion for others.”
Helping others seems to come naturally to Merritt, who also serves as a member of
and assistant director of administration for the Randolph-Macon Emergency Medical
Services (EMS) team.
“I respond to emergency calls on campus and assist with the patient until an ambulance
arrives,” he says. “As assistant director of administration, I communicate with
Campus Safety and the members of the team
and help with the daily EMS operations such as paperwork and scheduling.”
Merritt is also a speaking consultant for the Higgins Academic Center (HAC)
and a sports information assistant for the
women’s basketball team.
“I like that I am not just a number to my professors,” says Merritt of the R-MC
community. “I am a student, and that allows for a connection to be established.
I also like R-MC’s school spirit. There is always an event on campus that allows
students to show their pride and cheer on R-MC
athletics teams. Go, Jackets!”