Joseph McKeen
Center for the Common Good

Kate Leifheit
Class of 2012

Posted November 07, 2011

Toward the end of freshman year, Kate came to the striking realization that she was involved in very few extracurricular activities at Bowdoin. She had worked with a local Habitat for Humanity chapter back home in Wisconsin and the Bowdoin campus chapter emails had been accumulating in her inbox ever since the fall Volunteer Fair. Without any other options in mind, it seemed like a natural step to get involved in the Bowdoin group. When it came time for officer elections in April, there were spots available for two co-leaders and Kate was one of two people present at the meeting. The rest is history.

As a sophomore Kate expanded her reach beyond Brunswick participating in an 2009 Alternative Spring Break trip working with migrant farm workers in Immokolee, FL and applying for a Global Citizens Grant which took her to Quito, Ecuador in the winter of 2011 and La Fundación de los Abuelitos de la Calle, an organization that provides meals, medical and dental services, occupational therapy, and a safe space for social interaction free of cost to poor and disenfranchised senior citizens in urban Quito.

Kate, a double Biochemistry and Latin American Studies major, has been part of the Kammerling Society and their chemistry outreach to area grade schools for the last three years. She had a service learning internship at a public urgent care center in Viña del Mar, Chile during her semester abroad in the spring of 2011. This fall she is taking Enriques Yepes community-based course, Ecological Thought in Latin American Literature and is working as a McKeen Fellow for the Bowdoin Volunteer Corps.  Next spring Kate will lead an Alternative Spring Break trip to Phoenix, AZ to work with the Arizona Lost Boys Center.

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“Working with Habitat on builds and weatherization initiatives, I've gotten to interact with Maine homeowners and hear their stories.  This direct community service allows me to break out of the "Bowdoin Bubble" a few times a month and I can't overstate the value in that.”
— Kate Leifheit '12