Nori Patterson is a champion for social justice, but she wasn't always that way. Issues of social inequity and injustice came to her attention during her time at Redlands, leading her to become a double-major in media studies and sociology.
"The community, the people (at Redlands) truly helped bring me out of my bubble and express myself and my personal opinions more," she says.
Nori, an Oakland native, is also a member of the Summer Bridge program, STEP and Roots & Shoots. Summer Bridge helps high school students who would be first-generation college student get into the University. STEP supports first-generation students succeed after they're accepted to the University and Roots & Shoots is a community-action club.
Though Nori's studies are priority number one, her club activities are a big part of her life. "I always make time for things I really enjoy no matter what," she says. "I manage my homework time really well in order to spread things out because I really enjoy being involved in clubs, activities and just maintaining a social life."
Besides volunteering for the clubs, she spends her free time on the many activities held on and around the campus, such as Fallfest or the downtown Redlands night market. She also loves to just hang out in her room with her friends and watch movies.
When Nori got to campus, she made a lot of friends very quickly. She attributes this to the tight sense of community everyone on campus shares.
"When I arrived at the University, I found people I was connected to and who understand me," she says. "They are a diverse community that truly understands me as a person."
She was happy to discover Redlands has a Roots & Shoots club because she was a member as a child and has a lot of happy memories about her mentors. Now she's a mentor, and she shares a special connection with the grade school-aged volunteers. "Every time I’m with them they run up for a hug and want me to hang out with them," she says. "The bond that I have created with the Roots & Shoots kids means so much to me."