BY ANTHONY O’REILLY
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Erin Kennedy, a student at St. John’s University in Jamaica, has made it her mission to assist the homeless people of New York. As a Campus Ministry Student Assistant at the school, Kennedy runs and assists a program called “Midnight Run” where students from the university prepare meals for the homeless of New York, and then go out to distribute them. Kennedy says as a student assistant she participates in the program once a week.
She said she got involved with the program because she had previously worked with homeless people at her high school and said she found it hard to believe that there were people living in poverty in America.
“It’s crazy that we have people living on the streets in one of the richest countries in the world,” she said.
BACKGROUND: Kennedy, originally from Salisbury, Maryland, is a senior at St. John’s, studying government and politics. She is also the president of the university’s chapter of the College Democrats and during the recent election volunteered to campaign for President Barack Obama.
INSPIRATION: Kennedy said when she was in high school, she volunteered at a homeless shelter and it was there she found out that poverty and homelessness could affect anybody. “It could be any one of us. One bad day can start that whole cycle,” she said. “We are all human. We all need to take care of each other.”
BIGGEST CHALLENGE: Kennedy says the most difficult part of her community service is that she has to overcome some of the stereotypes the public hold about the homeless. “People always say ‘it’s