Nursing student shares her love of music, service
For Amanda Bartelson, serving the members of the community around her has always been a passion. A recipient of the Spirit of the Billiken award, Bartelson has given much of her time to giving back to the community, especially here in St. Louis.
“If I see a need or see something that is important to me, I can’t help but get involved,” Bartelson said.
With the help of friends Emily Tuttle and Anna Johnson, Bartelson started health programs in an inner city St. Louis middle school, teaching students about healthy habits and choices.
“Even the choices you make in middle school can really impact your health later in life. It made me uncomfortable that the students might not have the resources or support they need to make healthy choices. It’s all about the empowerment of students and their families.”
In addition to teaching in the school health programs in St Louis, Bartelson also coordinates the music at the Spanish masses, tutors students in nursing, and is involved in the SLU Mass Choir and Micah Program.
In her sophomore year at SLU, Bartelson had the opportunity to study abroad in Spain, where she continued to volunteer in the Madrid community. As part of the weekly Bokatas program at SLU Madrid, Bartelson made sandwiches and coffee and brought them to homeless people around the city. However, to Bartelson, doing acts of service are more importantly about getting to know the people you are helping.
“I met people from all over the world and really got to learn their stories. It was especially powerful because I got to experience people in a really authentic way. My view of service has really matured while being at SLU. I’ve learned the importance of walking with someone rather than solely serving them.”
No matter the service opportunity, club involvement or hobby, Bartelson insists that making a difference in the lives of people around you starts with the simple step of recognizing your passion and seeing what you can do with it. Another passion that she finds important in her life is music. She plays the piano and guitar and also enjoys singing.
“[Music] is my favorite way to relax,” said Bartelson.
Bartelson especially enjoys playing music with her eighteen-year-old sister Alyssa, who was born with Cerebral Palsy. Sharing music together is one way that Bartelson and her sister spend time with one another.
“My sister is really important to me. We are really close, and music brings us even closer together,” Bartelson said.