Service is Always in Season

For Citadel cadets, spring break is often an opportunity to make a difference. Cadet Princess Lopez, ’25, used her spring furlough to serve with the Krause Center’s Alternative Break Program on Bulls Island and Waccamaw Island. “It was a great experience because I was already interested in community service,” she said. “I want to make a difference.”

A member of The Citadel’s service-based Rotaract Club, Lopez was excited to learn that she could serve alongside cadets who have the same passion. “The good thing about being at The Citadel,” she said, “is learning to overcome and adapt. It offers classes that no other college has and prepares us to face challenges.”

“The good thing about being at The Citadel is learning to overcome and adapt.”

On the islands, Lopez and seven other cadets rebuilt wooden pedestrian bridges and cleared natural debris. “The work we did helps the environment and communities we’re surrounded by,” she said.

Service learning is the cornerstone of Citadel culture, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that cadets have earned a reputation on service sites for being hard workers who finish tasks ahead of schedule. When Lopez and her team finished their work, they climbed trees, grilled hotdogs and hamburgers, and went kayaking. Alternative Break inspired Lopez to dedicate her summer to service as well. She was part of The Citadel’s Service to Underserved Children, a program that helps Charleston-area youth advance their academic skills over summer break.

Volunteer work is just one way Lopez gives back. When she’s not participating in service activities, Lopez is active in cheerleading, rugby, the Chinese Club and the Ranger Challenge team. “There are so many opportunities at this school—some you don’t even have to look for,” Lopez said. “It’s important to be open-minded. Versatility is a good thing.”