Allen Ghareeb ’13 Puts Service First at Bradley and Abroad

Allen Ghareeb

December 12, 2013

By Margaret Cipriano ‘15

Senior biochemistry and religious studies major Allen Ghareeb seems to give a helping hand to everyone.  As president of Fellows, an organization that promotes leadership and civic responsibility, and a member of SERVE, Bradley University’s service organization, Ghareeb is no stranger to volunteer opportunities at Bradley. In addition to his success coordinating and leading on-campus service activities, Ghareeb’s dedication to service extends well beyond the Bradley community.

Ghareeb, a native of Dunlap, Ill., the region devastated by tornadoes on November 17, was an integral part of organizing Bradley University’s relief efforts. Working with Bradley’s Lewis J. Burger Center for Student Leadership and Public Service, Ghareeb helped coordinate efforts to provide assistance to residents of the devastated area.

“In the wake of a calamity, people want to get out there and do something hands-on and make it tangible,” said Ghareeb. “Pictures do it justice, but it’s just an abstract until you see it in person.”

Ghareeb, along with his advisor and other faculty members, helped organize money donations, the food and supply drive at the Markin Center, and the blanket making activity that helped make over 200 comfort blankets for tornado victims.

In addition to his efforts on campus, Ghareeb coordinated volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross, bringing Bradley students to Washington to become actively involved in tornado relief by washing dishes, cooking food, and bringing meals to workers and families.

Ghareeb praised the behind-the-scenes work by many eager Bradley students, but acknowledged the volume of work to be done.

“It’s hard to leave anything you do and feel fulfilled because there is still so much to do and so much help needed,” he said. “I always wished I could stay and keep going. The key is to keep the response alive and keep it going into next semester.”

As a longtime devotee to all things service related, Ghareeb has extended his love for helping others abroad as President of the Global Medical Training organization. The Bradley University chapter of GMT works in collaboration with GMT International, providing opportunities to raise global awareness, local action, and volunteerism in economically disadvantaged communities.

Through GMT, Ghareeb traveled to Honduras and Nicaragua, setting up health clinics in underdeveloped villages.  After this trip, Ghareeb studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, comparing health care systems in post-Soviet countries to welfare states.

“These trips personally verified and confirmed public health is the field I want to go into.  I figured out my passion lies in global health and raising awareness about certain issues,” said Ghareeb.

In discovering his appreciation for public health, Ghareeb noted his involvement at Bradley has made all the difference.

“Service and leadership have defined my experience at Bradley. Some people are good at sports, some at music,” he said. “Volunteering has been my escape from the mundane. It’s something I really enjoy, making other people feel good is how I feel good, “said Ghareeb. “Freshman and sophomore year, I wanted to be part of hands-on volunteering and now I’ve learned behind-the-scenes leadership is just as important.”

Ghareeb encouraged others to get involved in volunteering as well.

“It doesn’t matter which role you play as long as you do play a role,” he said. “It was at Bradley that I developed as leader, a follower, a member, and a volunteer.”