Alumni in the News: Finding Happiness Through Service

6 Oct

If the world economic news is getting you down, here’s an inspiring Chicago Tribune story from Sunday about a DePaul alumnus who traded in living large for a life of service to others:

Steven Biedermann, 45, an investment banker, was living the good life in a Gold Coast condo with all the requisite perks—but he longed for meaning, not bigger bonuses.

Then came the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “That was the match that lit up a bundle of kindling that had been piling up for years,” he said. The next fall, Biedermann sold everything and joined the Peace Corps. He headed to Kiribati in the Central Pacific, swapping the condo for a small stick hut and swanky restaurants for fish and rice. He grew closer to his Christian faith.

Upon his return, he was hired to manage the Chicago Public Schools investment portfolio—a way to make use of his skills, but with a loftier purpose. Though he earns less than he did his first year after graduating from DePaul University in 1986, Biedermann said he’s fulfilled. “It’s about serving others, not being served. That’s where my happiness comes from.”

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