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Metropolitan State TRIO Pay It Forward Tour

The Pay It Forward Tours will take place from May 7-10th destined for Chicago, IL!

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Alumni Profile: Scarleth Lopez

Scarleth Lopez was a participant on Stephen F. Austin State University’s first ever Pay It Forward Tour.

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Alumni Profile: Patrick Cauley

Patrick Cauley is from Minnetonka, Minnesota and graduated from Minnetonka High School in 2013. All throughout high school, he participated in STLF Pay It Forward Tours, and by his senior year of high school, he was leading middle school and high school Pay It Forward Tours. He attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth and was an active member of the UMD STLF Chapter. He was on Bus Core, Chapter Core, and Regional Core, and participated in STLF camp, as well. Since graduating in 2017, Patrick is now an engineer at OATI in Minneapolis, MN.

We have a lot of tours coming up in the next couple of months. For students participating in a Pay It Forward Tour for the first time, what advice would you give them to get the most out of this experience?

Do their best to meet everyone, by the end of the trip you’re going to wish you could spend more time with all the people you met.

What is one of your most significant memories of participating in STLF?

Nothing beats Celebration Cities and meeting up with all of the different groups and chapters. I love seeing how a small group of people can change the world, so it’s exciting to meet people with shared sets of values and similar experiences who are all incredibly excited about making it to the final city.

What was your most challenging moment leading a tour?

There is definitely more freedom. As a college student, you have a little more agency, with the expectation that you are a mature, responsible adult with strong decision-making capabilities. It was nice during tourism when you didn’t have to stay in a large group with your bus core leading you around.

What are some of the biggest differences you experienced going from high school tours to college tours?

When I was leading a middle school, our bus broke down, and our national contact had already been dropped off at a previous service site. I had the students walk to a park that was nearby, and had to work with the bus driver to get a repair out, all the while leading the students in activities so they didn’t realize what was happening.

How have you seen your STLF experience help you transition from college to your job?

Well, I’m an engineer, and at my job, I oftentimes have to present in front of customers. I’ve found that my speaking skills are better than most of the other engineers I work with. It’s just that being on bus core and chapter core, you have to have really strong presentation skills and you are taught how to hone in on your social skills in terms of what works and what doesn’t work for you.

What is something that you learned from STLF that you don’t think you would have learned otherwise?

I learned a significant amount about diversity. Minnetonka High School and the University of Minnesota-Duluth are not exactly the most diverse places to go to school, so STLF exposed me to different backgrounds, taught me about privilege, and how to look at and experience things through other perspectives.

Each month we feature a STLF alum who is making a difference through service and leadership. Know an alum that should be featured? Let us know, email info@stlf.net.

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