Photo by Tim LaRose

Advocating for Service

Sarah Hehemann, a senior in the College of Nursing from Deerfield, Illinois, was recently honored as the 2016 recipient of Marquette’s prestigious Pedro Arrupe award for service. Each year, the award honors an outstanding student who has shown exemplary service to the Marquette community and beyond.

The Pedro Arrupe Award is named for the Superior General of the Society of Jesus from 1965 to 1981. Arrupe, known as a “man for others,” lived a life committed to serving the poor and leading others to explore the link between faith and justice. Nominees and recipients of this award have provided significant leadership in community service and have been advocates for those in need.

Aside from taking a demanding course load, Hehemann works as a certified nursing assistant at the Milwaukee Center for Independence, teaches yoga at the Wellness Center and rarely misses an opportunity to serve others.

Service has played an important role throughout Hehemann’s entire life. Before coming to Marquette, she was heavily involved in youth ministry programs in her hometown, while frequently participating in service trips, including three trips to Flint, Michigan.

She says that service is working with, not for individuals.

“It’s about meeting in the middle. Bringing all of our resources, knowledge and experiences together in hopes that we can create some sort of positive change”

At Marquette, Hehemann has continued to pursue her passion for service and has gotten involved wherever she could. Through MARDI GRAS (Making A Real Difference In the Gulf Region and Areas Surrounding) trips, MAP (Marquette Action Program) trips, Global Brigades and Midnight Run, Sarah serves others on a local, national and global level.

“One of my favorite memories involving service at Marquette was my first service trip in college through MARDI GRAS. I traveled to New Orleans with over 100 Marquette students, and after a 16-hour drive, I had made six new friends and learned so much about them. It is my best memory of breaking out of my shyness and really making a comfortable transition from high school to independence in college. Service brought together effortless friendships and complete acceptance.”

She holds a leadership position for Global Brigades, a student-led global health and sustainable development organization. Through Global Brigades, Sarah has taken two trips to Nicaragua, developing sustainable health initiatives and providing relief in an area with limited access to healthcare. On a local level, Sarah frequently volunteers at Feed America and Hunger Task Force.

Hehemann and her family at the acceptance ceremony

Humbled to have been named this year’s Pedro Arrupe Award recipient, she emphasizes that her contributions wouldn’t have been nearly as impactful without the help of the other volunteers.

“I am not special in my actions and experiences of service, and I most definitely could not have been involved in the service opportunities I have been without other people. There is no denying that the Marquette community is flooded with compassionate, generous and ambitious individuals, working to make positive changes in our society every single day.”

Hehemann plans to specialize in either pediatric nursing, neonatal nursing or pediatric oncology after graduation. There is no doubt that she will continue to be an advocate for service wherever she goes. More information about Hehemann and her involvement at Marquette is available in a video interview:

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