Jared Romeo is a student in the pre-med program with a major in chemistry in the Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.
Jared worked at Wingfield Pines, a nature site located in the southwestern corner of Allegheny County. According to the Allegheny Land Trust “The land has seen more than of its share of human use and abuse. Strip-mined in the 1940’s and later turned into the Wingfield Pines Golf and Swim Club, Wingfield Pines is among several restoration and enhancement projects undertaken in the Chartiers Valley.” The goal of the project is to improve a poor ecological site and turn it into a community park with fishing ponds and hiking trails. Jared assisted the site’s biology teams with collecting data and cleaning up the area. This involved taking chemical samplings of the surrounding ponds to help determine if they could sustain wildlife. Jared says, “The best thing was seeing the park before and after. When we started working, I couldn’t imagine it looking good.” He continues to volunteer once a month on the project because he wants to see the final results.
CREATING VOLUNTEERS FOR LIFE
According to Jared, his classes have really helped him with the research: “Without the chem or bio classes I’ve taken I would be a ‘mindless data collector’. But because of what I’ve studied I actually have an understanding of what is going on at the site.” This type of work was real world application for what he had been learning in the classroom. Jared’s major is pre-med, and he is preparing himself for a career based on providing care for others. He relates this project to his future career by saying, “it’s a nice way to give back and feel like you’re accomplishing something for the good of the community.”
He recognizes the importance of continuing service as part of his career in medicine, as “many people don’t have resources for medical care.”
“It’s nice that service-learning is being put in classrooms because it helps promote service throughout life.”
He says, “it’s nice that service-learning is being put in classrooms because it helps promote service throughout life.” Jared realizes it would be rewarding to volunteer his time and treat patients at shelters or clinics, and feels that giving back to the community through service is part of Duquesne’s mission.
TAKING CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT
To Jared, service-learning is a chance for students to get hands on experience: “it puts the responsibility into the hands of students to do something, which ends up being very rewarding.” He recalled that when he started volunteering all the water was rust-colored and was in bad condition, but as part of his project he planted over 100 trees. The trees have helped filter some of the pollutants making the water cleaner and clearer. He says, “I actually really enjoy this type of field work. It’s nice to see that we are actually improving the area.” Before coming to Duquesne, Jared had done some but not extensive volunteer work, but it will be something that will stick with him in his future goals.