Bellarmine News

Beyond the Bluff: Melissa Cedillo ’18

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Seniors at Loyola Marymount University have been preparing for life after LMU all year. In our Beyond the Bluff series, liberal arts seniors reflect on their post-graduate next steps and the experiences that shaped their career plans.

Melissa Cedillo ’18
Major: Theology
Next Step: Loretto Volunteers

Melissa Cedillo believes that every service experience is an opportunity to encounter others and build community. In fact, the immediate sense of community and connection that she felt when she met with Loretto Volunteers, is one of the reasons she decided to join their team after graduation.

“I was specifically interested in Loretto Volunteers because of their service placements. They had one that would allow me to utilize my theology degree. And then the women who interviewed me were so welcoming and inspiring right off the bat! Plus, who wouldn’t want to live in Washington D.C. during an election year?”

Cedillo’s enthusiasm for making a difference began back in high school. She always envisioned herself partaking in post-graduate service, and during her time at LMU, she was committed to community and university service as a member of the Belles Service Organization. With graduation approaching, she’s excited to begin the next chapter of community involvement.

“I’m eager to use my first year out of college in an intentional way that glorifies my faith.”

As a Loretto volunteer at The Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual in Washington D.C., she’ll gain a deeper understanding of non-profit work by taking on multiple communications duties including: publishing, social media, and writing. This placement will also provide Cedillo with the opportunity to collaborate with notable female scholars on projects where feminism, faith, and justice intersect.

“I have been a student my whole life so I am interested to see what it will be like to enter the working world.”

Cedillo views post-graduate service as an interlude where she can evolve personally and professionally while also helping others.

“My aspirations are all over the place. Some days I picture myself going all the way to get my Ph.D. in Theology and becoming a professor and life-long scholar. Other days I can see myself having a hands on role in women’s health policy or social work. Perhaps that means a master’s in education or public health. I am hoping my year of post-graduate service will help me discern between all of these options.”