Drake University elevates the talents and passions of students daily. We had the chance to catch up with a recent Drake grad and learn about how she turned her passions into a career. Jasmine Barr, who was a Service Learning Ambassador in the Office of Community Engaged Learning 2016-2017, is currently a Chapter Consultant at Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. In her position, Barr gets the opportunity to volunteer with students on various campuses throughout the United States on a myriad projects. Last September she even helped students in Georgia register to vote in an upcoming election.

Photo Submitted by Jasmine Barr

Barr credits her Drake experience with introducing her to her fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, also known on campus as APO. She pledged the service fraternity during her sophomore year. Barr’s experience as an active member inspired her to think about communities beyond those she was immediately part of. She says her experience, “helped me begin thinking about shared connections and building a better world.” Along with growing professionally and intellectually alongside her fraternity brothers, Barr also created fond memories she thinks of today. She reminisced about two particular service-based events saying, “Particularly Sack Lunch Buddies at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and Night Eyes at the Blank Park Zoo. Each of these projects is focused on child well-being to some degree and therefore hold special places in my heart. Sack Lunch Buddies was one of my favorite service projects because it provides after school and weekend snacks to students on free or reduced lunch in various Des Moines public schools. Night Eyes was an opportunity to don a costume and pass out candy to younger kids who preferred a merry not scary approach to Halloween.”

Barr also offered up some advice for current students. “Besides drink water and take a nap, I would encourage Drake students to dive into campus life. This could be done by attending a theatre show, hanging out in the office of STIIL more often, attending more SAB programs, or joining a new student org; without overwhelming your schedule of course! Getting involved gives students an extra opportunity to create a collection of positive experiences.”

Barr encourages students to get involved off-campus as well. She is a big advocate for the administrative offices at Drake and their ability to connect students to the Drake community. “I would encourage all Bulldogs to start building shared connections with the people of Des Moines to build towards calling Drake a true home away from home.”

You can find Barr on Facebook and Linkedin cheering on her Drake peers. She loves seeing what her classmates are up to after graduation. With real Drake spirit, she says, “There’s no greater sense of Bulldog pride than seeing my peers succeed in their fields well beyond the classroom. To paraphrase Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody [at Drake]!” We are rooting for you too, Jasmine! Thank you for taking the time to catch up with us here at Drake’s Office of Community Engaged Learning. We are proud to see you working hard to inspire generations of bulldogs to come. #DrakeServes