The early part of my college experience was realizing that I was hungry for learning experiences outside of traditional classroom learning. Civic engagement is now a lens for everything I do.
How has civic engagement contributed to your learning and leadership development?
The early part of my college experience was realizing that I was hungry for learning experiences outside of traditional classroom learning. So civic engagement for me throughout my time at Colby has been a way for me to combine my academic passions with my energy for activism and be able to get out of the classroom and connect to people’s real day-to-day experiences and do something in the community that feels tangible. It has been extremely beneficial for me because that sort of orientation grounded me in the community and I established relationships with the individuals in Waterville. Civic engagement is now a lens for everything I do. The experience connected me to the power and potential of creativity and collective action in a community.
What is something you have learned about yourself as a result of your civic engagement experiences?
I took an American studies course on art, community and urban development. It began with familiarizing ourselves with the local context, the process of urban development and gentrification, how art, collective empowerment, and self-expression can support or intervene in displacement processes. At the end of this class, I understood how I could creatively intervene in different ways and lead in the community to make a difference for people living here right now and work for the desired future.