Katie Welch, '13
Junior focuses on accounting and service at St. Joseph's Villa
July 6, 2012
After graduating from high school, Katie Welch, '13, worked in sales for several years before beginning her time at the University of Richmond.
"I might not have taken the normal path to get here, but it was the perfect path for me,” Welch said. “Bringing the experience of the real world to Richmond has made me a better student."
In her first year at the Robins School of Business, Welch dedicated herself both to her studies and to work in the community.
While searching for a job opportunity on campus, Welch discovered the Bonner Center for Civic Engagement’s (CCE) Community Partners Federal Work-Study Program.
Through the program, students may complete their Federal Work-Study hours at a nonprofit organization in Richmond by participating in one of four key CCE programs: the Bonner Scholars Program, Build It, Pathways to a College Experience, or Richmond Families Initiative.
For Welch, an opportunity in the finance department at St. Joseph’s Villa, a valued partner of Richmond Families Initiative, was the perfect fit.
"St. Joseph’s Villa has their hands in so many things, from helping homeless women and children to disabled communities," Welch said. "As a business student, it’s important to observe and understand the people around you. I’m able to do that at St. Joseph’s Villa, while using the skills I’m learning in the classroom."
At the organization, Welch also found a team of supervisors who were willing to share their knowledge and expertise.
"The people at St. Joseph’s Villa were very warm and welcoming," Welch said. "They were eager to share information about the projects I was working on and their purpose."
Welch worked hard for the organization, spending up to 10 hours per week in the office.
"I’m a business problem solver, and St. Joseph’s Villa kept me challenged throughout the year," Welch said.
Before joining the St. Joseph’s Villa team, Welch witnessed the importance of volunteerism during moments of struggle in her own life.
"As a child, my family sometimes received baskets of food from religious and social service organizations, and my father expressed to me then that we also had to give back when we could," Welch said. "Every Friday, we would go to the food pantry to help out."
As a member of Alpha Phi Omega, the University’s service organization, and a returning volunteer at St. Joseph’s Villa, Welch will continue on her path of service and encourage other students to become engaged next year.
"Service isn’t just something you do to fulfill a requirement," Welch said. "I want to serve, because I know that I can contribute to my community in meaningful ways."