When Emily Eason linked up with the team at Seabury Resources for Aging, she was prepared for the vast majority of service projects. She and her team cleaned houses, did minor repairs, and helped elderly folks fix issues around their homes. When she arrived at the home of a woman she calls Mrs. Robinson, though, she realized this was a different sort of service.
Eason wrote her winning essay on how Mrs. Robinson, a woman in her nineties, simply needed someone to listen to her stories. Her home was already quite clean, with not much work required. But, instead of leaving without a sense of accomplishment, Eason’s image of what community service and leadership means evolved.
“I had tried for years to find fulfillment as a public servant with organizations that would allow me to directly bring about some sort of visible change in society,” she wrote. “I never knew I would learn the real meaning of service by simply listening to a 95-year-old lady talk about her life.”
What Community Leadership Means to Emily Eason
As the winner of the Underwood Law Office Community Leadership Scholarship, Emily Eason has performed her share of community service. She is an avid volunteer with Seabury as well as a host of other organizations and events, like Empowering Women in Law UMD (specifically, the Her Justice initiative) and campus clean-up activities with pre-law fraternity Phi Alpha Delta.
However, her view of improving the community has shifted. Instead of providing a single tangible service, or simply allocating funds and resources, she has come to understand the much-needed human element that should accompany community work.
“It is important that public servants like myself take a moment to stop and listen,” she wrote. “We should not assume we know what is best for those less fortunate.”
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What’s Next for Eason?
A current student at the University of Maryland, College Park, Emily Eason is in a joint bachelor’s and master’s degree program. Her bachelor’s degree is in Government and Politics with an International Relations concentration and a minor in Spanish. Her master’s degree is in Public Policy, with a specialty in Nonprofit Management and Leadership.
Eason plans to pursue a law degree following these accomplishments, “combining my passions for community service and the law,” she said in an interview. Her goal is to become an Immigration lawyer and found a nonprofit organization to provide low-income and undocumented people with free legal advice and career preparedness services.
Underwood Law Office is proud to award Emily Eason with our Community Leadership Scholarship. We look forward to seeing her future endeavors serving underprivileged and at-risk populations.
You can read Emily’s winning essay by clicking this link here.