Standing outside in the cold handing out food and clothes to the homeless may not seem like a typical Thursday night for a college student, but it’s one of Christopher Cooper’s favorite things to do:
“I have been involved in a few extracurricular organizations and attended many events, but the one that is the most special to me is Midnight Run. Having the opportunity to go to the city for a few hours a night and help give out food and clothing to the homeless has touched me deeply,” explains Christopher, junior in St. John’s College of Professional Studies. “Helping bring warmth, nourishment, or even a smile to someone's face, for even just a moment, is in itself a great deed.”
In addition to service opportunities, like Midnight Run, what interested Christopher in St. John’s was also what he learned about the University during his childhood, “My mother is a College of Pharmacy alumna. She always shared her college experiences at St. John’s with me. She considered her education to be one of the most special aspects of her life. I can now relate to her feelings about St. John’s.”
Christopher is currently a legal studies major and plans to apply to St. John’s School of Law upon graduation. He hopes to use his law degree to specifically help those who cannot afford legal representation:
“I want to become a lawyer and work in the public sector. My interest in the public sector comes from my love of working with people who are truly in need of legal aid, but cannot necessarily afford it. It is more satisfying to work with people who are grateful for my help than working just to make millions of dollars.”
Christopher wanted a head start on his career so he became an intern for the Queens Volunteer Lawyers Program, a non-profit legal assistance program sponsored by the Queens County Bar Association. The volunteer program offers free legal advice to Queens residents with consumer debt issues ranging from credit debt to identity theft. “Assisting in the clinic, whether it is helping residents fill out paper work or just talking to them, is special to me. I enjoy being able to take someone’s mind off their debt issues and reassure them that everything will be okay,” says Christopher.
Christopher’s aspirations in life parallel the mission of the University, “To me, life is not all about making money, but rather being able to help as many people as you can. From what I have experienced and learned at St. John’s, people should strive to make a positive contribution to society. Helping people on a daily basis makes me eager to get out of bed every morning.”