Elizabeth Carlisle: Co-Service Director


" . . . What we're doing is more than just three hours."

How do you like being Service Director?

I enjoy it, honestly. I have always enjoyed making like, huge projects, and always enjoyed just, like, helping people. And so, as soon as I found out I was Service Director, I was like "Oh, expletive word here."

[Laughs.]

Like, "This is going to be the coolest thing in the world." I enjoy just helping with service. I already don't sleep, and the whole "service never sleeps" thing that our past Community Service Director Edith ingrained in us really makes sense now.

So, with GIP [Global Impacts Project*] around the corner, is that still true?

[Laughs.] Um, let's hope? If you know something I don't, then tell me.

I know it's your first big project of the year. How's it been planning it?

It's a lot of realizing that you can't do it all, but still going for it anyway. I dunno. See, one thing my brother would always say to me in high school is, like, "Accept your reality and move on accordingly." And so, it's a lot of that-- if something doesn't work out well or don't know what to do, accept it, and then if you can figure out what to do, then go back and fix it as a solution later. But honestly, just keep moving forward because sometimes things just don't work. Maybe budgetary, or other people aren't feeling it, it's a lot of, uh-- What I've found is it's a lot of independent work, but it's also a lot of group work that you have to somehow get together.

[ . . . ]

How's it been running around and getting everything together?

Honestly, it's really good to have people asking "did you do this" or "did you do that?" It's like, yes, I already did it, Mom. And then you're like, wait. It's actually a good thing they talked to me about that. It's good. I love the power.

Let me start off low here. What is your biggest concern for GIP this Saturday?

My biggest concern is like, hoping people actually understand what we're doing and why we're doing it. Because I know for a lot of people, it's like "oh, Rotary International, service. Six areas of service." Sometimes it's like, great, so what are those? What does that really mean? What I've seen as an intern in the past is people would go to events, say they would enjoy them, but not really understand why we're doing those events. So that's been something I've been pushing a lot more this year. Just for this event, for Global Impacts Project, we are impacting-- it's global, you know?

[Laughs.] Yeah. Global Impacts Project. Wow.

[Laughs.] Yeah, the name makes sense now. But we are helping the community. We're helping L.A., Santa Ana, Orange County. We're helping a school in the Philippines. We're doing everything everywhere for as many people as we can. We just hope that people recognize that what we're doing is more than just three hours. This is a life-- these are many lives that we're all trying to help out to make a better future.

Wow. I was gonna ask you what was one thing you're excited for this Saturday, but you already covered that.

My concerns are my hopes. [Laughs.]

Well, we're about to wrap it up then, but what is one thing you wanted to say about GIP, about service, about what you do in the club? How has it changed you the past two months? Or, well-- since the summer, because you've been working on service since then.

I think, just... Service in general is what you put into it. People can just be like "Oh you're in service? You're just doing it to be a good person, you feel bad, you're just doing this because... da-da-da reason." No, the reason I do service and why I enjoy service so much and why I find it so rewarding to be a Service Director is because it's not about me trying to feel better or trying to prove a point. It's me just trying to be there, lowkey in the background. It's about making sure that other people have a place to live or at some sort of area that they feel comfortable in. It's a lot of recognizing that sometimes, people don't grow up the same as you. Sometimes, people falter where you stand out. It's about not equalizing and feeling guilty. It's giving people the opportunity that you had, or giving people opportunities that you didn't have and you want to make sure they are given everything that they can have to succeed in the future.

It's a lot of making sure that people can live the best life that they can. And for me, personally, I've committed a lot of my life to [service], and I plan on continuing to do that, whether through Rotaract, or other orgs, or a career in the future.

*Global Impacts Project is Rotaract's biggest service event of the Fall Quarter. To see more details about the event such as date and time, feel free to check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/1454531447963403/