For many K-State students, school breaks aren’t a time to kick back and lay low — they’re opportunities to spring into action. Student philanthropy has many faces at K-State but shares the common mission of living the Wildcat Way and exemplifying the service-based traditions of the K-State family.
For students like Miranda Larkin, service takes place in far-flung corners of the globe. Larkin, a junior in communication studies from Texas, traveled to Costa Rica with Cats Across Continents, a partnership with K-State Athletics’ Courts for Kids. They worked together to build a multipurpose court in a small town, bonding with community members of all ages in the process.
“It was an opportunity to experience life on their terms,” Larkin said. “We slept on mats in a church, and local women cooked us delicious meals. We may have all grown up under different circumstances, but there are so many similarities linking us together, from favorite songs to future goals.”
Larkin said the Costa Rica trip was a great example of K-State family values. By simply building a multipurpose court for all ages, the group demonstrated compassion, determination and accomplishment to the youth who will become tomorrow’s leaders.
"When you put time and effort into kids, you influence who they’ll become in the future,” Larkin said. “Giving back is a huge part of the K-State family, and I’m honored to be part of it. You always receive just as much as the time and effort you give."
Larkin isn’t alone in her passion for service. Tendai Munyanyi, a senior from Zimbabwe, mentors local high school students. And there’s Davis Millard, a senior from Shawnee, Kansas, who is a longtime K-State Proud campaign volunteer. Other K-Staters, like Sydney Edmisten, a senior from Prairie Village, Kansas, traveled to Dallas on an Alternative Spring Break to build a community playground. The list goes on and on.
Whether improving the quality of life for a community a world away or making life easier for one person in your own backyard, one thing is for certain: A commitment to service is a pillar of the Wildcat Way.