The Office of Student Life presents the Extraordinary Leader award to outstanding students each month. The entire HPU community – students, faculty and staff, make nominations, and the nominees are asked to complete a survey about their academic, social and charitable involvement on campus and in the community. A committee of HPU administrators selects the students who embody true leadership.
Service. That’s the word that can sum up the experience of Erin Karpovich, January’s Extraordinary Leader, at High Point University.
Just this past year, Karpovich was honored as November’s Big Brothers Big Sisters “Match of the Month” and received The Rotaract Dedication to Service Award. She showcased HPU at the Citation Award Dinner for the National Conference for Community and Justice and made the Dean’s List for the spring and fall semesters. Karpovich says it’s the caring and extraordinary people at HPU that have inspired her to help others.
“When I was sick with the flu, countless friends from the university such as my professors, shuttle drivers, hospitality team members and student life staff, went well out of their way to check on me and nurse me back to good health. These compassionate people serve as an example of people whom I strive to be like.”
Karpovich says she strives to bring a positive attitude to everyone she sees, and loves to brighten their days will small acts of kindness. Recently, she was able to expand her love of service on an alternative fall break to Alabama. Students, faculty and staff worked together to assist in tornado reconstruction projects in Tuscaloosa, Ala. They built wheelchair ramps, remodeled a mobile home and completed other small but impactful tasks.
“The families were so grateful, for our company, the projects we completed and also for having had their property chosen for cleanup. I learned that they sometimes felt neglected, like no one cared about them. We showed them this is not so and that they are important.”
Karpovich says the trip was just one way HPU provides an extraordinary education in and especially outside of the classroom. She says she now knows she wants to work to help others after graduation.
“The feeling I get when I know I am helping others is immeasurable beyond any amount of money. I want to remind others of their worth, that they can achieve their dreams and that they are an incredible person. I would love to find a career where I can change the lives of others.”
In the more immediate future, Karpovich and the HPU Civitan Club will host the Open Door Ministries homelessness awareness campaign. They’ll be camping out to display the realities of homelessness to students.
“We serve many meals at Open Door, and I think this is our next big step in achieving more,” says Karpovich.
Karpovich emphasizes that even the smallest things can make a big impact. She plans to continue making a difference in other peoples’ lives through her charitable works or just a friendly smile.