Alex Quian ‘20 spent his summer working on service projects in his local community of Dallas, Texas, to inspire young people to be leaders and make a difference. Instead of the usual occasional weekend service projects, Quian added another layer to his commitment to giving back by pioneering a month of volunteering.
Quian founded the non profit, 30 Days of Service, and completed 30 different service projects within 30 days. The projects ranged in scope from packaging meals for the homeless to organizing large scale workshops. He founded the organization with fellow student Brady Boyd. The two met at a community engagement leadership conferences where they joined forces with mentor Greg Weathorford, who suggested the boys take this project.
“Our main purpose was to inspire young people to give back to their own communities because we felt that young people often don’t know how to get started when pursuing service projects,” Quian said. “We wanted to provide an example of very simple ways that you can give back and make a small difference that pays off.”
Some of Quian’s favorite projects were teaching a life skills course at a local Boys and Girls club and creating “dorm kits” for first-generation college students.
These projects made a large impact on the students, according to Quian. “After the (Boys and Girls Club) class was over, they told us how personally touched they were that we made the time to actually speak with them. We had in a small way set them up for success.”
Quian was inspired to create 30 Days of Service and become more dedicated to community service by coming to Cornell and meeting a diverse group of friends. “Before coming to Cornell, I was involved in service organizations, but I wasn't passionate about it,” he said. “By making such a diverse friend group, I had the opportunity to speak with people of so many different backgrounds. It really opened my eyes to the different situations people have in the world. This has made me more conscious and aware of my community and its needs.”
While the project has concluded for the summer, Quian wants to continue the momentum established by leading workshops, writing a publication about leadership and encouraging individuals on Cornell’s campus to work to be role models.
“The purpose of this project is to inspire other young people to really step up and be leaders, especially at a place like Cornell where we are supposed to be the best of the best,” he said. “If everyone takes the initiative to be a leader, be a role model, be kind, that has major impacts.”