Posted November 10, 2010
Kat Flaherty '11 first became interested in and found passion for helping others through community service during her senior year of high school - making necklaces to raise money for Invisible Children, a non-profit working to end violence against children in Uganda.
During her sophomore year Kat became involved with the Brunswick Teen Center - coordinating responsibilities and volunteer hours for the Bowdoin Volunteer Corps student group; hanging out with the kids once a week; and organizing several fundraisers. Kat also joined the Tedford Housing student volunteer group. And by the start of her junior year, she had become the student coordinator for the Teen Center and a co-coordinator for Tedford Housing with Maina Handmaker '11.
Based on many recommendations and her interest in service, Kat enrolled in Professor Craig McEwen's Maine Social Research Class during her junior year. She worked on a project involving the Tedford Housing with research focused on recent changes in open hours at the shelters and how they would affect residents on a daily basis, particularly during the winter months. Kat was ecstatic to intertwine her personal community service and her academic endeavors.
First held at last spring, Kat coordinated and ran the Lose the Shoes event - a 3 v. 3 soccer tournament geared towards raising awareness of AIDS/HIV in Maine and in Sub-Saharan Africa. The event raised almost $1000 for Grassroots Soccer and Frannie Peabody Center, both organizations that work to combat AIDS/HIV and facilitate prevention. Lose the Shoes will be held again this spring.
Currently Kat is working on a year long independent study with Professor McEwen and the United Way's Safe and Healthy Community Council reviewing and evaluating the barriers to mental health care in the Brunswick community and creating strategies for improvement. She is focusing on consumers that use Tedford Housing, MidCoast Hunger Prevention Program, and Oasis Health Network in conjuction with interviewing multiple mental health service providers.
“I feel so fortunate for what I have been given in life - a wonderful family, my health, lifelong friends, and the opportunity to live out my collegiate years at Bowdoin. I will continue to give back as much as I can during my time here, really for the rest of my life.”
— Kat Flaherty '11