Let Us Introduce You to … Brooke Adams

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It was a chance encounter with a homeless woman outside of a Cardinals game that inspired junior Brooke Adams, a social work and international studies major, to help the homeless.

“I ended up talking to her,” Adams said. “She was very dehydrated [after] being in the hot sun.”

Adams was so moved by the experience that she proposed a summer outreach program to help the homeless. With the help of her summer school social work class, she raised money and collected water bottles to hand out to the homeless, calling the program “Summer Outreach.”

The group collected enough water bottles to hold approximately 1,000 liters, which were then handed out to the homeless.

“We went out when it was 90 degrees or above,” Adams said. “We drove around and handed out water to whoever needed it, regardless of whether or not they were homeless.”

Despite her current devotion to social work, that course of study wasn’t always on the forefront for Adams, who has gone through a variety of majors.

“I planned to do biology and pre-med, and that changed to psychology,” Adams said. “After I started volunteering, I realized that I wanted to work with people . so I chose social work.

“I think I’ve learned more about volunteering and working outside of the classroom outside of SLU than I have in any of my classrooms.”

In addition to her Summer Outreach program, Adams plans to do a similar program called “Winter Outreach.”

“We’re going to collect winter gear and water again,” Adams said. “We would go out and hand out these items when it’s 20 degrees or colder . That’s when it’s the most dangerous for those living out on the streets.”

Adams, who said that she is “addicted” to doing social work, claims that helping others gives her an adrenaline rush.

“It is mind-blowing to do service work,” Adams said. “I feel like I learn something from everyone I encounter.”

This upcoming spring break, Adams will travel to Costa Rica for another service opportunity. In addition, she hopes to intern in Africa this upcoming summer. After she graduates from SLU, Adams hopes to go abroad to Latin America to engage in social work.

“I would love to either work in the Peace Corps or Lutheran Corps,” Adams said. “It’s definitely a possibility.”

Adams spent a semester abroad in Rome and credits that experience with strengthening her desire to work abroad.

“I did a little bit of refugee work, and it really solidified my views of wanting to work internationally,” she said. “These people have the most amazing stories in the world. . They’ve been through so much, but they keep going through it all.”

For those who want to get more involved in their communities, Adams has simple advice.

“Just do it, don’t talk about it,” she said. “Choose something that you have never done, that you would never do. . The things that I never thought I would do are the things that rock my mind.”