Melanie Campbell knew she didn’t want to go to college in a traditional “college town.” She wanted to explore and learn about the world around her. For her, that meant attending Seattle Pacific University, living and studying in one of the nation’s leading cities.
“Since being here, I’ve found lots of ways to get involved on and off campus,” says Melanie, an individual and family development major. “I’ve seen different workplaces and different organizations in action. Being in Seattle is a unique experience; it’s a big city, but it’s easy to get around to different places. I take the bus everywhere.”
For Melanie, Seattle Pacific is not only a gateway to connecting with the city, but also a gateway to connecting with the world. As a freshman, she began volunteering with Cultural Companions through Urban Involvement, SPU’s program connecting students with volunteer positions in Seattle. Once a week, Melanie met with a refugee family from Afghanistan to help them practice English. On campus, she’s a member of the Students for Middle East Peace Club, which promotes discussion and education on campus concerning conflict in the Middle East.
Melanie also works as a research assistant for the Human Rights Defense Center, a nonprofit in downtown Seattle fighting for reform in the criminal justice system. “It’s been a great experience — advocating for people’s rights within the criminal justice system is one of my passions,” says Melanie. “Being able to learn, work, and get real-world experience at the same time — I’m really thankful for that.”