Volunteer of the Month

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"My background of growing up in a rural area has provided me with a passion for studying health disparities, particularly underserved populations. This passion turned into a career goal which ultimately has lead me to an organization called Gum Drops my freshman year at SIU.  The first time I volunteered at Gum Drops provided me a snapshot into my mother’s life – that of a single parent on a limited income trying to raise her children to the best of her abilities. Volunteering at Gum Drops over the past four years has helped me grow as a person and continue to love making a difference for the local community. Amy and Ron, the founders of Gum Drops, have shown me just how much of an impact two people can make in a big way. They treat me like family, and I could not thank them enough for everything they have done not only for me, but countless let families they help through their organization. Meeting such amazing and loving people like them and seeing where they started with this organization to where they are now has shown me that this is something I want to pay forward in the future. Volunteering here has made me hope to one day start my organization just like them to help local families and children who are working toward a better life."

Conrad Tyrell, Senior Human Nutrition, and Dietetics, Burlington, IL


Thank you, Conrad, for your dedication to being a citizen-scholar!