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Seattle University

Eric Sype

As Student Body President, a peer adviser in the Matteo Ricci College and a Naef Scholar, you wouldn’t think Eric Sype would have time to do a service-learning trip abroad. He didn’t either, since he was considering his campaign for student body president. But Adjunct Professor Audrey Hudgins knows her students—how they can manage more than they think possible. She thought it would be an experience Eric would grow from and should take advantage of. She even had a particular program in mind for him.

Hudgins connected him with the director of Casa Verde, an NGO and SU partner. When they sat down, she handed him the reigns. They discussed his passions and interests in order to choose the best program for him, and she even gave him the opportunity to create his own project. He only had to dream it and SU would help him find the resources to make it happen. Ultimately, he decided on a pre-existing program to set up a bike rental company to fund scholarships in the rural town of El Limon Dos, Nicaragua.

He enjoyed the real-world application of what he’d been learning in class, but it was being able to see the impact of what he was doing that really struck deeply with him. The ability to take his own opportunity to create more opportunity for others was fulfilling on multiple levels.