Drake University along with the Office of Community Engaged Learning does its best to prepare students for meaningful personal lives, fulfilling professional lives, and responsible global citizenship. The students who graduate from Drake are changemakers in their community and we have been lucky enough to reconnect with some of our phenomenal alumni.

Lainie Fickau graduated from Drake in 2018 and earned herself a position with the Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa. She is a Community Troop Manager and leads eight Girl Scout troops across four school districts located around or within the Des Moines Metro. Fickau has the unique opportunity to work with girls in underserved communities who may not otherwise experience Girl Scouts due to a lack of volunteers in their area. On average she sees 150 Girl Scouts every two weeks for troop meetings, field trips, and service projects.

While deciding what she wanted to do post-grad, Fickau knew she enjoyed working with kids but didn’t want to pursue a traditional teaching profession. The Drake grad reflected on her time volunteering and interning as a student which led her down a path she wanted to follow. Fickau realized she was passionate about working with non-profits that addressed after-school needs. “Girl Scouts offer girls an opportunity to form friendships, learn new skills, and share unique experiences that can’t be found in a classroom setting.”

Fickau had the opportunity to attend the IMPACT Conference in 2017 through her job in Drake’s Community Engaged Learning Office as a Service Learning Ambassador. Fickau continues to use the tips and tricks she learned at the conference, and encourages other Drake students to attend.

When asked what other advice she would give Drake students she said, “Two BIG things! First, apply for that job/internship/scholarship. Even if you think you’re underqualified, not ready for the next step, or lack connections. The worst thing that can happen is that they say no. If you don’t, you tell yourself no. Second, ask your mentor/boss/professor questions about what they did to get to where they are. It only costs you your time and possibly the price of coffee! My dad always reminds me that it never hurts to ask.”

Thank you Lainie Fickau for your time and we wish you the best of luck in the future. You truly live out our favorite hashtag #DrakeServes