Posted April 30, 2009
During her sophomore year, Kerry Persen joined the Common Good Grant Committee to learn about the greater Brunswick community, and to participate in allocating more than $10,000 to local nonprofits. In addition, Kerry quickly realized that the committee was also a community within itself where the members learn valuable lessons from each other, from various speakers, and from the overall process of evaluating grants in a group setting.
One of the nine proposals funded in 2007 was a project outlined by Tedford Housing. The students on the committee were moved not only by the quality of the proposal, but by the new idea presented. Funds went to help lay the groundwork for the Family Mentoring Program aimed at matching community mentors with families to serve as resources and advocates to help homeless families and those who are near homelessness find or maintain stable housing. The hands-on experience helped confirm Kerry’s desire to pursue a career in the nonprofit sector, and she has taken the skill set she’s acquired from the Common Good Grant Committee into her work experiences at internships in New York and Washington, D.C.
“From my experience on the committee, I took away not only a greater sense of the surrounding community and the challenges it faced but also a better understanding of nonprofits, group cooperation, and the importance of Bowdoin’s role in the greater Brunswick area.”