Emmalyn Brown is a junior studying Social Justice & Human Rights, and is a student volunteer with Rape Victim Advocacy Program (RVAP). The Iowa Challenge asks students to serve: contribute to the community and lead by example.
How do you Serve at Iowa?
I began volunteering at RVAP in February. Sexual violence was a cause I was interested in at the national level and decided I want to help more on campus and the local level. As a volunteer, I work mainly on prevention. We teach kids in the IC community about consent and healthy relationships. I also try to apply my experiences and skills into helping RVAP such as lobbying on the state and national level and organizing events on campus about sexual violence.
How has this improved your experience at Iowa?
I love volunteering at RVAP because it’s given me a way not only to meet new people who share common interests, but also give back to campus and the Iowa City community by helping those who truly need it. The skills I have learned through volunteering there-- communication, leadership, prevention work and knowledge in combatting sexual violence have really helped me grow and given me lifelong skills and experience.
What advice would you give to new students on how to serve at Iowa?
I would say the best way to give back is to find something that you are good at-- but also that you love and are passionate about. It’s easy to give back on this campus with so many organizations, but I think you can better serve when you feel inspired and passionate; when you show up to your shift excited to learn and help.
What impact do you hope RVAP has on students or the campus?
I hope that RVAP can help break myths of sexual violence, help combat rape culture, and help those who have been affected on this campus. It’s my dream to see organizations such as RVAP doing their work have students understanding that it’s not taboo and that they can help combat violence too.
Where do you want to end up after college?
After undergrad, I plan to apply to law and public policy programs so that I can continue to work on issues I care deeply about and help serve others. It would be my dream to run for office some day and be able to continue to write.
About the series
The Iowa Challenge encourages students to get the most out of their college experience. We encourage all students to Excel, Stretch, Choose, Engage, and Serve during their time here at Iowa. Learn more about the Iowa Challenge here.
The Division of Student Life is creating profiles of students who have shown their work in relation to the Iowa Challenge in some way. If you know a student we should feature, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.