Posted October 08, 2009
Growing up in the suburbs of southeast Michigan, Eliza Hutchinson '06 hardly knew that homelessness existed, let alone that there was any role that college students might play in alleviating the issue.
Eliza first became involved in work at Tedford Housing through a sociology community-based course with Professor Joe Bandy. With the ultimate goal of understanding the local sentiments about the population served by the shelter, her group developed and conducted a telephone survey to measure local attitudes and knowledge about homelessness and poverty.
The following year, she worked with Joe Bandy as a service learning teaching assistant, facilitating other students' research projects with Tedford.
The experience at Tedford not only provided her with firsthand exposure to the complicated structural issues that contribute to homelessness, but also demonstrated in a tangible way how the skills learned in a classroom can directly contribute to connecting to community in a meaningful way.
Currently Eliza is working at Children's Hospital Boston as a Research Assistant on a suicide study with the emergency psychiatry department and attending postbac premed courses at Harvard Extension School. Her hope is to become a primary care doctor, working in underserved areas.
“When I graduated from Bowdoin, my first job was providing services to homeless and at-risk youth in Boston which only strengthened my conviction that those with privilege must use that power to help those who don’t have it.”