Meet Miss Homecoming candidate Camille Smith

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When most people go to college they develop their interests in potential career paths, lifelong friends and various clubs — Camille Smith, however, grew her passion for the elderly, a community she feels is being largely overlooked within the Auburn Family.

Smith, senior in physical activity and health, spent a large amount of time her freshman year volunteering at homes for the elderly around Auburn. She stumbled upon a nursing home in Auburn, and during her first week of volunteering, she was asked if she played any musical instruments. Smith said she had dabbled in playing the guitar a little bit in high school, and suddenly she was the musical entertainment on Tuesdays.

“I approached it as, ‘Oh, I’m going to go in and somehow help all these people,’” Smith said regarding volunteering at nursing homes. “I think that’s the way we approach a lot of things. But what I found when I was there was that I left a much more enriched version of myself. I was hearing from people who have already read the chapters of the book that we’re currently in the midst of writing.”

Throughout her time in Auburn Smith has highly valued the input and insight of the people she meets through her community service, and because of this, she’s decided to make it her platform as a Miss Homecoming candidate.

“So it’s a little different take (on a platform) than I think Auburn is used to seeing, especially this year because they kind of narrowed the scope to be just about Auburn — either the University or the community.”

Smith, during her time in college, has also been heavily involved in YoungLife, a Christian youth group, as a leader for Auburn High School girl students. She ties her experiences working with younger girls to her time spent in nursing homes together by the drastically different expectations she went in with versus the outlook she came out with. She is also a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

Smith believes that raising awareness of these voices can impact Auburn University for the better and that this older generation can shed light on the fact that this college-age stage of life is just the beginning. She wants Auburn students and residents to know these people are a part of our family and can be a resource to utilize.

Awareness is the starting point for her. Smith said the best thing she feels she can do with her platform at this point is simply to make the Auburn Family aware of these nursing homes and rehabilitation centers full of people with valuable insight.

Smith joked that she admires people that have a heart for children because she feels she’s always related to older people. She also continued to stress how much the older generation in Auburn has to offer, many of them having helped shape the University and almost all of them with wiser perspectives on life than college students.

“I harp on that we’re the Auburn Family,” she said. “So let’s not leave out a crucial portion of this family.”

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