The CAPS Fellowship at the Institute for Leadership and Service

The CAPS Fellowship at the Institute for Leadership and Service


So I decided to apply to apply to the CAPS Fellowship. It was a program that I wasn’t too familiar with, being a science major. Most of us tend to focus on shadowing physicians or research during the summer, so the CAPS program was a little bit new to me. And kind of what attracted me to it was it’s focus on leadership and service. CAPS stands for Calling and Purpose in Society. And this particular program came to us initially as an idea from two alumni, Peter and Bonnie Raquet. They thought that Valparaiso University Students would really benefit from having a summer internship experience that was financially supported, so it would be available to all students, and it would place some of our most service oriented and academically strong students in leading organizations around the country that exemplify how one can lead and service in church and society. I was very impressed by Sylas’s seriousness, his interest in medicine, and his desire to figure out how to put medicine to work to serve the world. As I read through the placements National Lutheran Community and Services really grabbed my attention because it is a senior care facility that practices benevolent care and has a long history and a broad network in the in the East Coast. The CAPS Fellows Program learned about NLCS through Katherine Balleweg who is a Christ College Valparaiso University Alum. And somebody who immediately saw when she heard about CAPS that this could be a great way to connect Valparaiso University students with the cutting edge work of NLCS. So one of the main projects that I spent a lot of my summer working on was a clinic expansion project. I did some focus groups with some of the independent living residents. I surveyed the staff and the independent living residents and I interviewed some of the physicians to hear feedback about what they thought the clinic would need in the future. My summer experience at National Lutheran Community and Services helped me become a better leader because it redefined what-what I really thought a true leader should be and I think part of you know the role of living in an independent living community is that I realized that a part of leadership is not only what you can do for yourself but what you can do for others. You know what I’ve learned from the summer is taking the moment to listen to the person next to you or kind of taking the extra minute to say hi to someone walking down the street that’s all a part of leadership. I think CAPS is a real calling card for the quality of our graduates in organizations nation wide. And once an organization meets one our students, they don’t stop asking for us.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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