Posted November 24, 2008
As a high school student in Vermont, Alyssa Chen volunteered in her high school’s Key Club and always enjoyed the club’s activities working with kids. She naturally then signed up for youth-based volunteer activities at the Volunteer Fair during her first weeks as a first-year student at Bowdoin.
This was the beginning of an extensive involvement in service at Bowdoin. By the time she graduated, Alyssa had served as a tutor for the student-led Portland Housing Authority program, which sends groups of students to volunteer at the housing authority’s properties each weekday; as a mentor to a student for four years at Mt. Ararat Middle School; as a co-founder of the dialogue group the Undiscussed; and as a camp counselor at Camp Mariah, a Fresh Air Fund camp named after singer Mariah Carey.
Alyssa built upon these experiences with courses in the Department of Education, and now is serving as a teaching assistant at Eagle Rock School in Estes Park, Colorado, a school that serves students who have trouble succeeding in traditional academic programs. “I’ve grown up in such privilege,” she says. “It wouldn’t be fair not to give back.”
“It was really interesting to learn about English as a Second Language (in education courses) and then see it in action at Portland Housing Authority.”