Zach Gardner '22 was recently named one of Atlanta InTown's 20 Under 20, highlighting his dedication to community service. We took the opportunity to check in with Zach about serving on Woodward's Service Leadership Board and his views on the importance of serving others.
What interested you in serving on the Service Leadership Board?
Since being a freshman, I had been aware of the work that Service Leadership Board (SLB) and WA Serves did in organizing and facilitating the many wonderful service initiatives at Woodward. In my sophomore year, Mrs. Green encouraged me to apply. I could not be more glad that she did. Because of how fortunate I am to be at a place like Woodward, I felt the need to give back both to the school community and the local community, and I saw the SLB as a wonderful way to do so. Because the SLB faculty are extremely supportive of student service endeavors, I wanted to become a member of the board in order to develop some projects I had brainstormed. I cannot thank the SLB faculty advisors and my fellow service leaders enough for their fellowship in serving the Woodward community and the College Park community.
What are your primary areas of academic interest?
American history, constitutional law, constitutional history, political philosophy, and literature.
Can you briefly detail one of your service efforts and what you learned?
The service effort I was most proud of during my time at Woodward was my work on organizing a book drive for the Georgia Department of Corrections prison library system. In organizing the drive I had to sort out the logistics of both collecting the books and getting them to the GDC. I worked with Ms. Medeana Hinson, the Director of Library Services, to organize a pickup time for the books, and I created a video to advertise the drive to the school. Through all of these efforts, I learned how to navigate the logistical necessities of service. The experience taught me the importance of clear communication and group involvement in launching a successful project. I truly could not have done it without the help of my peers and faculty advisors.
Why do you think serving others is important?
Service is one of the most important activities people can undertake in their lives. For me, like others, it is a calling. It is grounded in the scriptural teaching of loving my neighbor, in Christ’s example of serving the most vulnerable in society, and in Paul’s instructions to Timothy. Serving others is important chiefly because it helps to satisfy the needs of others when they may not be able to do so themselves. It is a timeless expression of humility and kindness, and it enables people to be more empathetic. Ultimately, it can help restore both souls and communities.
What do see yourself doing in the future?
I plan on going to law school after completing my undergraduate degree and pursuing a career in the legal/political field. I hope to become a law clerk after finishing law school, and my dream is to serve as a clerk in the United States Supreme Court. Afterward, I hope to pursue a career in constitutional law, academia, or public service.