Elizabeth Hodgson cares deeply about the world around her. Whether she's founding a second grade "Save the Earth" Club, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, or feeding hungry children through The Kind Mouse
, Elizabeth feels a strong duty to care for the overlooked and underserved. For that reason, the aspiring doctor was drawn to the Honors Medical Scholars program at FSU, a highly selective pre-med track that allows undergraduates access to the FSU College of Medicine community.
"The FSU medical school's mission is to help underserved populations," she explains. Elizabeth frequently seeks out opportunities to help the neediest among her community. For the past two years, she's been actively involved with The Kind Mouse, a local nonprofit that helps to feed chronically hungry children in the St. Petersburg area. "After learning the realities of some kids like me not having enough to eat, I knew I had to do something," she reflects.
Elizabeth's work with The Kind Mouse began simply with packing food for weekend snack bags. "It was relaxing," Elizabeth laughs, "I like organizing things!" Beyond sorting and packing food, Elizabeth became a part of the Mice Intern Program, a student leadership and advocacy group.
"In addition to hosting food drives and raising awareness, we learned how nonprofits operate, brainstormed ideas to improve our fundraisers, and mentored the younger volunteers in the Mice in Training program."
The Kind Mouse founder and CEO Gina Wilkins says, "Elizabeth is always the first to volunteer for a project and is never afraid to tackle a new task. She is a forward thinker and strives to make the lives of the less fortunate more comfortable." Elizabeth's work with The Kind Mouse earned her a People of Distinction Humanitarian Award and a nomination for a WEDU Be More Rising Star Award.
As President of the Mice Interns, Elizabeth ran her own board meetings and represented The Kind Mouse at various community events, where she'd often make remarks on behalf of the organization.
Characteristically quiet and soft-spoken, Elizabeth credits her time in Jake Seymour's English class with giving her the skills and confidence to speak in public.
"I used to be terrible at public speaking," she admits. "It was really through Mr. Seymour's class - part of his class is public speaking - that I became more comfortable with it." Not only did she become comfortable, but she became confident to take the risk of assuming leadership roles.
"I ran for leadership in Interact, in Pre-Med Club, and at The Kind Mouse." Determined to push herself out of her comfort zone, Elizabeth has been pleased to find that public speaking becomes easier for her with each opportunity.