Student of the Week

Matthew Ralls

Hometown: Wichita, Kan.
Age: 26
Major: Philosophy
Plans after NU: Either furthering his education or doing some type of service work.
A Favorite Movie: “The Tree of Life”

Matthew Ralls is a Philosophy Major, Spanish Minor at Newman University and is on his third semester. This summer, he had quite a unique experience in Guatemala. Matthew went on the Guatemala Study and Serve Trip. He lived with a host family and served with the Sisters of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ and their teams on health, educational and envrionmental projects. Not only did his Spanish speaking skills improved, but so did his interpersonal skills. Immersed in a different culture and way of life, Matthew had the opportunity to learn about himself and develop close bonds to the people.

Q – What are some of the things that you did and experienced on the trip?

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Q – What did you take out of this Guatemala trip experience?
A – Living with the people of Guatemala has been an amazing experience. It has given me a new perspecive on how people live in other parts of the world. It has made me realize how much I have, but also how much I don’t need. But most importantly, it has given me insight into who I truly am.
I usually consider myself the outsider and that affects how I interact iwth people and the world around me, usually in a negative way. But this journey to Guatemala made me realize that I am not an outsider but among these people. I am someone who truly cares.
I live to serve otheres, not myself. The time spent here in Guatemala is the first step in a new direction and I am deeply thankful for the kindness and support of my family, friends, and the wonderful people who I have met during my time here.

Q – What are some of the things that shaped who you are today?
A – I have always had a strong understanding that there is a lot of good that can be done in this world. This has shaped me more than anything, and I give a lot of thanks and love to those who have recognized this potential in me.

Q -What do you see yourself doing after Newman?
A – It would be nice to know exactly what I will be doing after I graduate! However, after getting a taste of my experience in Guatemala, I really see myself doing some kind of service work whether it be here in the states or abroad.

Q – Do you have any advice for Newman students as an upperclassman?
A – Take advantage of any opportunities that Newman offers.

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