Andrew Borst ’18 treats community involvement as a given in membership of the UC Davis student body.
Growing up in a small, close-knit community in Tehachapi, California, Andrew Borst’s family taught him to put other people’s needs ahead of his own. Seeing his father work as a firefighter and administer first aid to victims of drug abuse and domestic violence inspired Borst to make his own positive impact on the community. Some of the projects he tackled as a student included tutoring children of migrant farm workers who were learning to read through the Migrant Education Program and renovating the helipad of the local fire department as part of his Eagle Scout project. These projects developed in Borst a compassion for the under- privileged and the tenacity to enact positive change.
“What good is it to make yourself better if you’re not picking up other people around you?” said Borst. “The world is a difficult place for some people, and having someone who wants to help makes it easier for them.”
For Borst, being part of the community means being part of a mutually reinforced success team, and that perspective has guided his first months at UC Davis. He and his international roommates have been giving each other language lessons, he’s spent several hours developing connections and studying with professors, and he’s made new friends through intramural sports.
Above all, Borst is glad to know that the UC Davis community places a high value on the reciprocity of learning with teachers and students who are all committed to helping each other excel in their studies.
In recognition of his leadership in community service, Borst is this year’s CAAA Blue & Gold Leadership Scholarship recipient—the most prestigious award given by the Cal Aggie Alumni Association to an incoming freshman student.
“UC Davis provides an environment in which you can feel comfortable, no matter how many people there are,” Borst said. “Within the first week I felt like this was somewhere I’d want to spend the rest of my life.”