Serving on and off the court

Berry alumna Sarah Steffan wasn’t one to limit herself. Instead, she found the common thread in all of her interests: a dedication to improving the lives of others.

“I know my path seems scattered or unconventional, but the driving force behind my changes has always been people,” Sarah said. “I love working with people and developing them to be their best selves, whether that is as students, coworkers or now student athletes!”

At Berry, Sarah majored in art history with a minor in business. This led her to work as an office assistant first for the Foreign Language, Religion and Philosophy department and then for an art professor in her senior year. Sarah excelled not only in the classroom and the office, but also on the court. As a member of the volleyball team, she won several awards for her academics, athletics and leadership.

After graduating in 2014, Sarah’s interests led her down a variety of paths. First, she completed an internship with Villanova University. There she worked to restore a painting that Eugenia Ruspoli, Martha Berry’s older sister, donated to the school in the mid-20th century.

Following her internship, Sarah started a new job with City Year, a nonprofit organization dedicated to making sure all students have the opportunities to succeed. Sarah’s job focused on individual and small-group academic support. She worked alongside a high school teacher to provide attendance and behavior coaching to at-risk ninth grade students.

Sarah’s background in art, business and teamwork came back into play during her second year with City Year. She served as a leader for the Civic Engagement team, where she worked with six other individuals. Her business skills helped her plan and execute large-scale events, and she used her background in art to complete several beautification projects in Philadelphia public schools. She and her team hosted 10 events that year, engaging nearly 2,000 volunteers and impacting over 6,000 students.

Eventually, Sarah’s path led her back to where she started: volleyball. Once a star player, she’s now back on the court in a new position.

“Since my time at City Year, I have now transitioned to being an Assistant Volleyball Coach at Rollins College working alongside my former coach, Mika Robinson,” Sarah said. “She invested so much in me as a person and as a leader, which has definitely informed my path since college!”

Written by Megan Benoit and Shannon Rainey

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