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Be the Change Profiles



Patrick Wiggins ('11)
2010 Pearson Fellow

For Patrick Wiggins (’11) volunteering is more then just helping others; it’s a calling. Putting time in soup kitchens as a kid with his parents in Richmond, Va., Wiggins saw community needs firsthand, and he brought that understanding along with a commitment to improve it when he enrolled at JMU. As a biology student, Wiggins played an integral role in several local free clinics and soup kitchens, volunteering every Wednesday for multiple years. He arranged interfaith programs, talent shows and other events for the homeless population in Harrisonburg. Patrick organized a weeklong shelter project that required coordination of more than 130 volunteers and eight faith communities including Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim. Reflecting the importance and effectiveness of his work in Harrisonburg, Wiggins won a coveted $10,000 Pearson Prize and was named a 2010 Pearson Fellow, beating out some 10,000 other applicants nationwide. Patrick hopes to go to medical school, become a doctor, and eventually open his own free medical clinic, fulfilling further his calling to help others find a brighter future

“It’s our calling to help each other. It’s the inner fire to truly do what you can to help others, and it’s not hard if you have the time.”

View Patrick’s Pearson application video at: http://www.pearsonfoundation.org/pearsonprize/2010/fellows.html

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