La Salle University senior Matthew Roche has been named a Newman Civic Fellow for his dedication to service and outreach. Presented by Campus Compact to inspiring college student leaders, only 197 students nationwide were designated as fellows for 2014.
“When I learned about the award, my first reaction was surprise, but then I had a feeling of satisfaction and closure,” said Roche, a double major in secondary education and history. “I feel like there were definitely times when the service I was doing required a great deal of time and effort, and to balance it with being a student was a challenge. Receiving this award really helped to make everything that I do seem important and gave it a purpose.”
“I think the major reason I work so hard and continue to push myself to do community service is because it’s something that doesn’t require any extraordinary skills or talents, but instead is something that anyone can do,” he said. “The service I do helps give me fulfillment, that I am truly making a difference in the world even if it isn’t on a global scale. Service is a part of what it means to be human, and I use the gifts I have been blessed with and the opportunities available to me to try and help other people, because that is what needs to be done. Service is something that everyone should strive to do.”
Some of the activities Roche is involved with at La Salle are the Peer Ministers, a group that works to promote justice on campus and gives students the ability to explore their faith; Aids Outreach, the Philadelphia Police Athletic League and Pheed Philadelphia.
This is the third consecutive year a La Salle student has been named a Newman Civic Fellow. Emily Plummer, a communication major from Tampa, Fla., received the honor in 2012, and Daniel Bowers, a secondary education and mathematics major from Philadelphia was recognized in 2013.
Roche is from East Brunswick, N.J. and graduated from Bishop George Ahr High School in Edison, N.J.
Newman Civic Fellow awards are made in memory of Frank Newman, Ph.D., a co-founder of Campus Compact, which seeks to foster students’ involvement in public service and as democratic change-agents. Campus Compact has grown to represent more than 1,100 college and university presidents committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. The Newman Civic Fellow awards are made possible through the generous support of the KPMG Foundation.
La Salle University was established in 1863 through the legacy of St. John Baptist de La Salle and the Christian Brothers teaching order, which St. La Salle founded in 1680. La Salle is an educational community shaped by traditional Catholic and Lasallian values. The University is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 30 schools in the North Region and among the top 10 Catholic schools in the region.