How one Hokie’s passion demonstrates Ut Prosim
During the second semester of his first year, Nick Kaloudis found his place at Virginia Tech. He said, “For about a week, every time I entered my residence hall I saw a flyer to join VT Engage as a student leader. After about the tenth time seeing it, I decided to apply.”
On an alternative break trip to the Grand Canyon, he learned skills to help him facilitate conversations on diversity and social justice around service and community engagement. This experience was transformational for Nick. It inspired him. He began to explore the intricacies of food insecurity, an issue he knew affected his hometown of Philadelphia.
With VT Engage, he dedicated himself to leading weekly trips to Feeding America Southwest Virginia. During these trips, Nick led discussions with students, engaged with volunteers, and began to explore the depth and breadth of food systems and food security. Nick worked to find additional opportunities with Feeding America distribution centers in Philadelphia and other areas.
His nominator said, “This experience was a gateway for Nick -- a call to action. He became dedicated to regional food security, and approached it with the enthusiasm generally reserved for Friday night football games”.
Nick began leading weekly Campus Kitchen shifts, delivering food diverted from on campus dining halls to area food banks. Over spring break, Nick co-led an alternative break trip to Baltimore focused on food justice and urban farms. Nick was able to practice navigating food security in an urban environment and discover the ways communities respond on their own to their neighbors’ needs.
Nick said, “Everyone needs help in some sort of way, no matter how big or small. It could be as simple as telling someone you like their shoes, or as big as building someone a house. My passion is helping others. I want to leave a positive mark on the world, and I know that I can do that by making an impact on the people I interact with.”
His nominator said, “Nick not only lives a life dedicated to Ut Prosim, but actively chooses to challenge the student perspective of what it means to serve. He encourages authentic engagement, always reaching for opportunities to experience direct interactions with people and communities. His passion and interests inspire other student leaders to take on more leadership responsibilities, and explore the social issues that resonate with them. He also knows that his experience is not a lone journey, but instead, one we are all in together.”
Nick said, “I’ve learned that with the help and support of my fellow leaders I can do a lot more than I expected.”
Nick is majoring in building construction in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. He is a member of the Food Justice Club at Virginia Tech and Phi Sigma Pi National Honors Fraternity. As a second-generation American, Nick is most proud of his Greek heritage.