Posted May 19, 2010
Dana Riker '10 (Neuroscience) began her work with the McKeen Center (at that time the "Community Service Resource Center") during her first year. She was intrigued by the college’s values surrounding the common good and was excited to become involved in service work for her four years here.
She began mentoring for the student-run mentoring group, Falcon Friends, which sends Bowdoin students to Bowdoinham Community School to spend time with 1st-5th graders. Dana enjoyed the time spent with her mentee each week and was astounded by the positive impact that college students could have on Bowdoinham's students. She quickly looked to further her involvement in the program, and has been a co-leader for Falcon Friends during her sophomore, junior and senior years.
She has also participated each year in Aspirations in Maine Day as a host for local high school students. Dana enjoys hearing the ambitions of the visiting students, sharing stories about attending high school in Maine, and encouraging them to consider attending college after their graduation.
Dana has also been involved in athletic service projects on campus. For the past two years, she has co-organized Girls and Women in Sports Day. The event hosts nearly 200 girls from surrounding communities for a day of free clinics in eight different sports. The clinics are taught by Bowdoin varsity athletes, providing them an opportunity to connect to the surrounding community, serve as role models for young girls, and contribute to the common good.
The best parts of her involvement in service projects at Bowdoin have been the opportunities to interact directly with others and make a difference in their lives. Dana plans to continue to donate her time and energy to helping others as often as possible beyond graduation, ideally finding a career that values similar commitment to the common good.
“There is nothing more satisfying than making someone smile, giving them confidence, or lifting a burden off their shoulders.”