Dedicated student volunteers and staff from local nonprofits spent their lunch break at a volunteer fair held on campus last Friday to chat with curious passers-by about their work in the community.
Thirty student-led groups were at the fair, which is held in the first few days of the semester every year to help recruit new members, particularly among the first-year class. The Bowdoin Volunteer Corps is made up of student-initiated community service groups advised by the McKeen Center for the Common Good.
“It’s really helpful to get first-years involved and other [students] who might not know how,” said Caitlin Callahan, assistant director for student community service. “It’s a great chance for students to talk to student leaders, community partners and McKeen staff to get a sense of the breadth of what we offer.”
A wide range of groups was represented. The College Guild provides educational support for prisoners via mail. Blogging Buddies works with middle school students to help them develop art and writing skills through an interactive online blog. The Kamerling Society, meanwhile, tries to increase local students’ excitement about chemistry and science. Bowdoin Artist Activists is a group of students who collaborate on public art projects to raise awareness of social and political issues. Also at the fair were Habitat for Humanity, Tedford Housing, Special Olympics, and many others.
Tenzin Tsagong ’16, who was at the Friday afternoon, said she came to investigate the different opportunities available at Bowdoin, noting she was especially interested in tutoring elementary- and middle-school students. She hadn’t yet decided which group to join, saying she would wait to receive their emails and see if their schedules matched hers.
“I want to do some volunteering in the Brunswick community,” Tsagong said. “I feel fortunate to be at Bowdoin and to have an opportunity to receive an education. I have an opportunity to give back and to use my skills.”