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Alumni Experience

Alumni Achiever

Aarika Zarnick, '11, Honored Scholar and Volunteer

Aarika ZarnickAarika zarnick ’11 divides her life into parts – academic, social and faith –  but really the biology major blends all three into one.

Zarnick admits that the balance she has achieved and the awards that have been bestowed upon her  have set her apart from many other college students. But she doesn’t like to brag about it. 

In fact, Zarnick, who aspires to be a pediatrician one day, is downright humble as she describes the  recognitions she has received in her four years at Saint Xavier. 

The Lincoln Academy of Illinois honored her during the annual Student Laureate Convocation  in November at the Old State Capitol State Historic Site in Springfield. She was lauded for her  curricular and extracurricular activities.

She also received the Mother Paulita Morris, R.S.M. Student Service Award, which noted that she  is a leader and active participant in several student organizations, including serving as a resident  assistant at Regina Hall, a Transitions peer mentor, lector and Eucharistic minister.

In Campus Ministry, she has been a leader for the Awakenings and Quest retreats as well  as Peer Ministry Formation. She also served as a commuter adviser, is a past president  of the Service Club, and has participated in LeaderShape, Illinois Leadership  Seminar and the Improv Club. She is a past recipient of the Dean of Students  Award for Servant Leadership and the Micah Spirit Award for Leadership  in Campus Ministry.

She takes it all in stride.

“I found that balance and expanded my horizons at Saint Xavier. It’s helped me to achieve a well-rounded life. I’ve always been interested in service, but the opportunities presented here have expanded how I can serve. It’s made me who I want to be – growing in leadership and service.”

After graduating in May, Zarnick is spending a year with Mercy Volunteer Corps in Baltimore at the Mercy Medical Center as a patient advocate in the emergency room. It is her job to make sure the patients in the ER are comfortable and have what they need, acting as a middleman between the medical staff and the patients.

“It’s a continuation of Saint Xavier’s core values that I strongly believe in,” she said. Implementing respect, excellence, compassion and service, among others, she said, “bring meaning to my life.”