Service on Campus
Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money. I am familiar with going to organization to get help paying utilities, or getting food, and these experiences made me truly value community service. Being home schooled for middle school and starting high school as a shy student led me to my local Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). After a teacher convinced me to do Youth in Government my freshman year, I joined the local Leader’s Club at the YMCA, we met every Thursday, and if we came to meetings and completed at least eight hours of service a month we got a free membership. Through the Leader’s program, I was funded to do programs around the city and use the YMCA facility and I consistently did more than eight service hours each month.
This dedication to community outreach and service didn’t stop when I came to Dartmouth. Our motto back home used to be: “Come to learn, return to serve,” and that is something I have tried to live by. So when I got to campus my freshman year, I looked for ways to give back to the Upper Valley community.
During this search, I found the Center for Social Impact. It has a base on campus and houses organizations and opportunities for students to volunteer in the Upper Valley community through both local and national efforts. I had spent the last few years working with kids, and wanted this to be a part of my volunteer work. As a low income student with parents that didn’t graduate from college, I know how important it is to have role models.
Through the Center for Social Impact I was able to find America Reads. America Reads is a work study opportunity for students that qualify that sends you to local elementary and middle schools to serve as a mentor and help with reading comprehension. For two years I worked as an America Reads tutor going to schools outside Hanover in the Upper Valley. It was the perfect way for me to work during the term and also give back to the community around me.
America Reads is far from the only regular volunteer opportunity on campus. The Center for Social Impact has various other opportunities and is a great way to make sure you are still connecting with the local community as a student!